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Rajasthan: Dussehra procession attacked with stones, curfew imposed in Tonk as Hindus demand arrest of stone pelters

The Hindus in the area have complained that despite similar incidents in the past, the police failed to provide adequate security and ensure that such attacks do not happen.

On Tuesday, a tense situation occurred in Malpura town in Tonk district of Rajasthan, after members of a community allegedly resorted to severe stone-pelting during the Dussehra procession, which led to delay in the burning of Ravan effigy.

According to the reports, the Hindus in the area were taking out a Dussehra procession on Tuesday and were confronted by members of another community near a high Muslim concentration area near Saadat Chowraha. A heated argument broke out between two groups resulting in communal clashes as members of the community pelted stones at the procession of Hindus.

Soon, police forces were deployed in Malpura town after clashes erupted. After the stone pelting attack, the Hindus reportedly protested and refused to carry out the procession any further, demanding immediate arrest of the accused. They complained that despite similar incidents of stone-pelting and attack last year, the police officials failed to provide security and ensure such incidents are not repeated.

Kanhiya Lal, the BJP MLA of Malpura protested outside the police station along with more than 150 members of the community. The protestors insisted that they should be provided security to continue their procession from the same area where they were attacked by the mob.

The situation did not improve till late night in Malpura even as senior officials reached the town to pacify protesters. Some shops were also torched during the clashes.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42hQSgWPHF4]

Reportedly, the burning of the effigy was delayed after severe protests by the Hindu communities as the protestors were firm on their stand that they will not burn the effigy unless the stone pelters were arrested. Later, the police officials accompanied by some municipal workers burnt the Ravana effigy early morning today. A curfew has been imposed from Wednesday morning and the internet has been shut down.

Reports state that the police have also restricted internet services in the area and banned newspapers.

Speaking to Times Of India, IGP (Ajmer Range) Sanjib Kumar Narzary said that some people were taking out a Dussehra procession when they had a heated argument with a member of another community. The verbal spat took a violent turn as the two communities clashed with each other and pelted stones. Even as the police resorted to the use of force to disperse the agitators, the local leaders staged a protest outside the police station and demanded arrest of those who attacked the procession.

“Some people are protesting outside the station, we are talking to them to find out a solution. The situation is now under control and no fresh incident of violence has been reported,” Narzary said.

The police officials further said that they have detained six people for further questioning. The police added that additional forces have been deployed in the wake of clashes. The CCTV footages have been recovered to nab the culprits, said a senior police official.

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