Tension gripped Madhya Pradesh’s Burhanpur town on Friday after a large mob speculated to be numbering into a thousand, went on a rampage following the Friday Namaz Prayers. As per reports, the mass violence was triggered when the large mob had taken out a rally near Iqbal Chowk following the afternoon Namaz, to protest against the recent Kathua rape case.
The stick-wielding mob got triggered during the rally, and after sloganeering started to vandalise nearby shops and vehicles, including a bus from Maharashtra. The mob also blocked a highway and brutally assaulted some shopkeepers.
Seeing the tension, the whole marketplace was shut and panicked shoppers either took shelter in nearby shops or ran to the nearest bus station. It has been claimed that some of the youths even resorted to looting the stores.
The tension intensified when the mob reached the Shanwara region where the cops were waiting to restore order. Seeing the cops, the violent youths proceeded to pelt stones at them, which resulted in injuries to two policemen, with one carrying a serious head injury.
In order to restore peace, the police proceeded to lathi charge the violent youths and later senior police officers deputed a strong police force in the town. The police arrested a few mobsters from the spot and are investigating CCTV footage to track the other perpetrators. Currently, the situation is said to be in control.
Incidentally, the Burhanpur region had made news in the past when some youths had proceeded to chant “Pakistan Zindabad” slogans last year following India’s defeat to Pakistan in the Champions Trophy Final. The police though had later dropped the sedition charges from 15 youths charged in the case.
This violence after Friday prayers, unfortunately, isn’t a stand-alone incident. Kashmir routinely witnesses such violence with three people dying in post prayer clashes in 2016. Last year too saw such violence and clashes broke out between youths and the security forces, in the Srinagar and the Pulwama district.
The post-Friday prayer violence is sadly also not restricted to Kashmir and in August last year, the police had to fire at a mob in Aligarh which was resorting to incessant stone pelting after Friday prayers. Post-Eid prayers too had seen intense violence in July 2017 when a large mob decided to attack a police station in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh.