Jodhpur: Hours before Eid, communal tension broke out in Jodhpur leading to stone-pelting. Five policemen were injured in the incident that took place past midnight, officials said.
The situation was brought under control with heavy deployment of police, but the tension re-escalated after the Namaz of Eid on Tuesday morning when some people pelted stones near the Jalori Gate here. A few vehicles were damaged, they said.
Jodhpur is the hometown of Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, who appealed to the people to maintain peace and harmony.
Members of the minority community were installing Eid flags and they put up a flag on a roundabout alongside the statue of freedom fighter Balmukund Bissa. This led to a confrontation as the other community alleged that a saffron flag they had put up there ahead of Parshuram Jayanti, had gone missing. The issue snowballed into stone-pelting and clashes, the officials said.
Police rushed to the spot to control the situation during which five policemen were injured, police control room said.
The police had to lob tear gas shells to disperse the mob. Mobile internet services were suspended in the area to check the spread of rumours, the officials said.
Gehlot tweeted urging the people to maintain peace and called the incident unfortunate.
"While respecting the tradition of love and brotherhood of Jodhpur, Marwar, I make a touching appeal to all the parties to maintain peace and cooperate in restoring law and order," he said.
The chief minister said instructions had been issued to the administration to maintain peace and order.
BJP MLA Suryakanta Vyas in Jodhpur raised an objection to the installation of the Eid flag alongside the freedom fighter's statue.
"They did (put up the flag) at (the statue of) Bissa ji and we have a strong objection to this. We will not forget this," Vyas, along with her supporters, said.
BJP state president Satish Poonia said, "Putting up Islamic flag on the statue of freedom fighter Balmukund Bissa by anti-social elements, and removing saffron flag put up on Parshuram Jayanti is condemnable."
He appealed to the people to maintain peace and demanded the state government establish 'rule of law'.