Ranchi witnessed city-wide violence following a bandh called by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) Saturday. The police, however, ensured the situation did not spiral out of control. The bandh call was given following communal violence in the Lower Hinoo locality Friday night.
An unidentified youth and the cameraperson of a news channel were injured in Saturday’s violence. Police spokesperson and ADG (Operations) S N Pradhan said 65 people had been detained, but no arrests had been made.
Ranchi Zone DIG Arun Kumar Singh the police resorted to “mild lathicharge” to disperse the mob, which damaged public property at various locations and also shattered the windshield of the Ranchi SP’s car.
Even Hardik Patel, the PAAS leader campaigning for Patidar reservation in Gujarat, was not spared. Stones were pelted at his convoy in Hatia area of the city. Patel was in the state to attend a meeting of members of the Kurmi community.
On Friday night, as the power was restored at 10 pm following a blackout, locals noticed an animal’s hide had been placed outside the wall of a Kali Temple. As anger grew, a van of the Ranchi Municipal Corporation and a shop selling chicken were set on fire, police said.
Police added, “(On Saturday) about 150 people belonging to the Bajrang Dal and other Hindu organisations took out a procession and… threw objects at Etra Masjid.” The Muslims blocked the road in protest and “this went on till one in the afternoon”, they said.
Chief Minister Raghubar Das, accompanied by DGP D K Pandey, went around the city and interacted with people at various locations.
A senior police officer said that though they were prepared to control the overnight flare-up by deploying two companies each of the CRPF and the STF in Doranda area, they did not expect violence in other parts of the city. That’s why there was a delay in mobilising personnel, the officer said.