A curfew has been imposed in parts of Haryana state in northern India after five people were killed in two separate incidents of anti-Muslim violence.
Authorities imposed a curfew in the Nuh district of Haryana state where four people died, police said. Twenty-three others were injured during the “communal clashes,” police added.
Security forces are among the dead and injured, according to authorities.
“A curfew has been imposed in the whole district of Nuh. Four people have been killed and 23 injured have been admitted to hospital. The situation is now under control,” Krishan Kumar, a police spokesman, said.
The violence also spread to the neighbouring district of Gurugram, where a mosque was attacked by a mob which killed at least one person, thought to be the imam, according to local police.
Clashes began on Monday in the Muslim-majority Nuh district where several cars were torched and stones were thrown at the police.
Local sources said that the clashes erupted after Monu Manesar, a cow vigilante wanted in several criminal cases including the February murder of two Muslim men, announced a religious rally in Nuh. He had reportedly called on his supporters to join him. However, he later skipped the rally.
A spokesman for the rally organisers say it was attacked.
“Monu Manesar, 30, has evaded the police since he was charged for the kidnapping and murder of two Muslim men found dead in a burnt car in February in Bhiwani,” local broadcaster NDTV reported.
The burnt bodies of the two men, who belonged to the state of Rajasthan, were found in the city of Bhiwani, Haryana.
Internet services have been suspended in the area and prohibitory orders banning large gatherings were issued.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday termed the communal violence in neighbouring Haryana “deeply troubling” and appealed to the state’s people to maintain peace and brotherhood at this critical time.
He said people need to unite and defeat the forces against peace and politics of violence.
In a tweet in Hindi, Kejriwal said, “The communal violence in Haryana’s Nuh (Mewat) is deeply troubling. After Manipur in the Northeast, now such an incident in Haryana is not a good sign.” He further said: “I appeal to the public in Haryana with folded hands to maintain peace and mutual brotherhood at this critical time. Together, we have to defeat the forces against peace and the politics of violence.”
Tensions between Hindu and Muslim groups have been on the rise in recent years, with critics often accusing the state of turning a blind eye and doing little to stop the violence.
SOURCE: AA and 5PILLARS