Communal tension in Maharashtra town due to stone pelting near Mosque during Ganesh immersion

By A Mirsab,,

Umarkhed (Maharashtra): Following stone pelting near Markaz Masjid between two communities during Ganesh immersion, communal tension have erupted in the town of Umarkhed in Yavatmal district.

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Communal tension in Maharashtra

As many as 35 people including 12 policemen have been injured in the incident and 29 men have been detained, reports suggest. Minority community alleged one-sided action from police as the cops detained men only from the minority community.

On Thursday, at around 5 pm when people were offering afternoon prayer at Markaz Masjid, Ganesh bhakts were taking Ganesh procession and were playing DJ with high volume. Sources told that Ganesh Bhakts did not stop playing DJ while passing through Masjid lane even though they were requested by people to turn it off and that resulted into stone pelting from both the sides.

Communal tension in Maharashtra

“Windows and gate of Masjid was damaged due to stone pelting. Nearly 25 Muslims were also injured,” a source told on condition of maintaining anonymity.

Local media reported that considering the sensitivity Police had already decided the route to be followed by Ganesh Mandals, however, Chhava Ganesh mandal of Tambolipura took procession on the wrong route where Markaz Masjid was stationed due to which communal tension flared up in the town.

Communal tension in Maharashtra

Local media reported that although police could control stone pelting in an hour, angry mob burned down four shops and six vehicles, all belonging to minority community.

As a mark of protest, all Ganesh Mandals then stopped immersion and demanded arrest of minority people involved in stone pelting or they would not immerse Ganesh idols. Rajendra Nazardhane, BJP MLA from Umarkhed also raised same demand before the immersion of idols due to which police started to round up people from Minority community.

Communal tension in Maharashtra

It was only on Friday, when 29 people were detained by police, that the Ganesh Mandals proceeded with immersion. People from minority community alleged that police indiscriminately detaining youth under the pressure of MLA and to please Ganesh Mandals, however, their community has suffered major losses in the stone pelting and burning of properties.

“They (police) came knocking at the doors at 3 am in the night and took away my son. He was not involved in any anti social activity but it seems out of enmity some people gave his name to police,” said a mother of one of the youth detained by police.

Communal tension in Maharashtra

After the reports of random detention of minority youth reached Maulana Nadeem Siddique , Secretary, Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind (Maharashtra) called up SP of Nanded and IG of Amravati and requested them for fair investigation and not to harass innocent.

“ Akhilesh Kumar (SP) has assured me that they will release innocent youths who were not involved in stone pelting. I have also requested him to not work under any pressure and arrest miscreants from other community too”, Siddque said.