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Curfew imposed: ‘Rumours’ spark communal clashes in Jamshedpur

A police officer said curfew and prohibitory orders were imposed and it helped in preventing the loss of lives.

Written by Subrata Nagchoudhury |
Updated: July 24, 2015 2:46:54 am
jamshedpur communal clashes, communal clashes Jamshedpur, Jamshedpur communal tension, Jamshedpur curfew,  jamshedpur, clashes in jharkhand, jamshedpur news, jharkhand news, latest news, india news Security forces keep vigil near Sankat Mochan Mandir in Mango on Thursday. (Source: Express photo by Partha Paul)

Almost 35 years after it witnessed a communal riot in 1979, Jamshedpur is reliving the horror of a communal flare up, yet again. For the past four days several areas in the heart of the town were put under prohibitory orders. Several localities were placed under curfew for varying hours.

However, even as Deputy Commissioner Amitabh Kaushal announced a further relaxation in prohibitory orders — the genesis of this communal flare-up remained a mystery.


Though rumours about a Hindu girl being teased, a day after Eid, right in front of a Muslim students’ hostel had been doing the rounds, inquiries revealed that there was still no complaint filed over the matter. All the six FIRs were either lodged by local magistrates or police officers having magisterial powers.

“The veracity of the rumour is yet to be ascertained,” said a DSP-rank officer, who was on riot-force deployment on Thursday night at Mango — the area where the clashes began on the intervening night of July 20-21.

The Gulf Guest House in the locality serves as a hostel for Muslim students, and is barely 20 metres from the Sankat Mochan Mandir. It was in this locality that the rumour started. “We began to mobilise forces from the night of 20th itself,” said the DSP. As the rumour spread, tensions rose. This was followed by another rumour about the Sankat Mochan Mandir being ransacked.

But by the morning of July 21, clashes between the two communities had intensified. As Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal activists took out procession in Mango, reports of shops and vehicles being torched in different parts of Mango, Azadnagar, Ulidih and MGM police station areas started trickling in.

S K Sinha, SP, (Rural) Jamshedpur said central paramilitary forces were called in immediately as the situation threatened to go out of control. Schools were shut down, banks and offices were closed except for the emergency services.

A police officer said curfew and prohibitory orders were imposed and it helped in preventing the loss of lives. The last time the steel city experienced a communal riot was in 1979.

Over three decades passed before another flare-up threatened to bring back the horrifying memories of the 1979 clash.
But there has been no casualty this time. “The situation is subsiding,” Kaushal said. So far, 133 preventive arrests have been made, including some VHP leaders.

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