Jamshedpur, the largest city and the economic nerve-centre of Jharkhand, has been under siege since Tuesday. A curfew has been imposed following communal clashes over successive days on Monday and Tuesday.
Skirmishes between Hindu and Muslim communities living in Mango, a suburb of Jamshedpur, began late on Monday night. The Vishwa Hindu Parishad, an affiliate of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the ideological mentor of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, called for a bandh, or a blockade in the city on Tuesday. Thousands of youth attacked vendors on the streets and shops that had continued doing business. Several vehicles were set on fire. The entire week, shops, schools, colleges have remained closed, with residents being allowed to access essential services for only a few hours on Thursday.
It has been reported that the skirmishes were triggered after a few Muslim youth harassed a woman from a Hindu family late Monday evening. But senior district officials in East Singhbhum told Scroll over the phone that no complaints regarding the alleged harassment had been recorded with either the police or the district administration. “No one has come forward to make a complaint. No one has identified who the said person who was harassed was, or even the household she belonged to,” said Amitabh Kaushal, the district collector.
Eight FIRs have been registered in police stations across the city. 125 people have been detained so far, said police officials. There were no casualties, but several people had suffered injuries.
Senior police officials said that during the investigation that they had found that a group of Muslim youth had clashed with another mixed group of two Hindu and two Muslim youth in the same area three days ago. “A second clash occurred on Monday night. The incident had inadvertently taken a communal colour as it occurred next to a temple. We will make a public statement with full details of this soon,” said a senior police officer supervising the investigation
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