Days after communal violence flared up in the Hatwara Bazaar area of Karauli, the Police on Thursday registered an FIR against 37 people for instigating the violence. While the police have identified Congress Councillor Matloob Ahmed as the main conspirator in the stone-pelting incident, it has booked BJP leader and Jaipur mayor Somya Gurjar’s husband Rajaram Gurjar for his alleged involvement in violence.
The Gurjar community on April 7 condemned the Police action against Rajaram Gurjar and demanded his release from the FIR. According to the reports, the Mahapanchayat consisting of 13 village Sarpanchs noted that Gurjar and 5 other people from the Gurjar community were unnecessarily booked by the Police under political influence. They also demanded a CBI inquiry in the case and said that they would stage protests if the names of Rajaram Gurjar and the other 5 from the community were not removed from the complaint.
On April 2, Karauli witnessed heavy violence after stones were pelted on a religious procession of Hindus when it was passing through a Muslim-dominated area. Following the incident, a clash broke out leading to arson and vandalism in which at least 42 people got injured. Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Hawa Singh Ghumariya had informed that over 30 people had been detained by the police.
Meanwhile, after the communal clashes, the BJP alleged Congress local leaders’ involvement in the incident. It also alleged that the radical Islamist outfit Popular Front of India (PFI) had a role in the communal clashes on Saturday. Calling the incident a ‘pre-planned conspiracy, the BJP further accused the Congress-led government in Rajasthan of shielding its people.
As reported earlier, PFI had written a letter to the Rajasthan government 2 days before the incident, warning of such violence in the district during the Hindu new year rally, but the Ashok Gehlot government turned a deaf ear. The PFI had also alerted the local administration and the police against the Hindu community’s wish to take out a new year procession through the “Muslim-dominated” locality.
Later the Police confirmed that Congress Councillor Matloob Ahmed had incited violence and organized a mob to attack the bike rally celebrating Hindu New Year in the city. However, the Police also booked convenor Neeraj Sharma who had applied for permission for the rally, Sahab Singh Gurjar, state president of the Hindu Sena, and Rajaram Gurjar, former Chairman of the Municipal Council, Karauli.
According to the Mahapanchayat, Gurjar on April 2 was serving the injured people who were taken to the SMS hospital in Jaipur after the violence. “If this is how police and politicians treat a social worker, humanity will soon end”, the Mahapanchayat noted. It has given 5 days of ultimatum to the authorities to look into the matter and release Rajaram Gurjar from the case. Reiterating its demand for a CBI inquiry, the Mahapanchayat said that if the state fails to fulfill the demands of the Gurjar community, they along with people from other communities will stage protest rallies and hold the state responsible for the after-effects.
To avoid clashes, 600 policemen including 50 deputy superintendents of police have been deployed in the city. The Police have also imposed a curfew and shut down the internet services in Karauli as a consequence of the violence.