Uneasy calm in MP town after Muslim mob pelts stones on a Ganesh Visarjan procession

Sirali, a town in Harda district of Madhya Pradesh became a victim of communal tension, after it was reported that a group of Muslims pelted stones on a Ganesh Visarjan procession on Tuesday.

Soon people gathered to protest against the incident and picketed outside the police station. A situation of communal tension looked like developing in the town but police soon took control and a heavy security force was deployed in the town.

Reports claim that this incident happened when the procession which started at about 2:30-3:00 PM was passing near a religious shrine. The SP Rajesh Singh and other officers were promptly notified, who then dispatched a police force to the area. The police then took control of the situation and guided the procession plus also oversaw the Visarjan proceedings.

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Members of the Ganesh Utsav Samiti demanded the arrest of the accused and they were assured of the same by Police Station Head Kanchan Thakur. It was also decided that the markets would remain closed on Wednesday as a mark of protest.

The police reportedly acted very swiftly in the matter and arrested 7 people in connection with the incident on Tuesday night. A case was registered against the accused named Yunus, Shahrukh, Mohammed Salman, Abrar, Iqlakh and 2 others (who are minors). The reports also claimed that 4 of the accused belonged to the same family. The accused were presented before a court on Wednesday after which they were sent to jail.

Even though the accused were arrested, the markets still remained closed on Wednesday as planned, and as a result caused hardships to local people. Even private educational institutions remained shut. The police tried to get the markets to open at 12 PM by citing the arrests made, but the traders didn’t budge by claiming that they were protesting against the incident and not against the police. The people also demanded that such an action shouldn’t take place in the future.

A similar incident had also taken place last year during the Navadurga VIsarjan. The town organises regular meetings of a peace committee before every festival which is attended by people from both the communities along with the administrative authorities. In this meeting people had warned about the possibility of a similar incident, but the police still reportedly failed to take the necessary precautions.

The current situation in Sirali is reported to be peaceful.

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