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Communal tension on Eid in Jodhpur, curfew imposed

Communal tension on Eid in Jodhpur, curfew imposed
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Jodhpur/Jaipur: Communal tension gripped Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot's hometown Jodhpur hours before Eid on Tuesday, prompting the authorities to suspend mobile internet services and impose a curfew in 10 police stations areas of the city.

The Chief Minister has appealed to people to maintain peace and harmony.

The Jodhpur Deputy Commissioner of Police issued orders imposing a curfew till May 4 midnight besides suspending mobile internet services to check the spread of rumours.

Tensions broke out past midnight over putting up of Islamic flags on the Jalori gate circle, which led to stone pelting in which five policemen were injured.

The situation was brought under control in the early hours on Tuesday with heavy deployment of police but tensions escalated again in the morning after prayers at an Eidgah.

Shops, vehicles and houses were pelted with stones near the Jalori gate area.

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 members of the other community alleged that a saffron flag, which they had put up there ahead of Parshuram Jayanti, had gone missing.

The issue snowballed into stone-pelting and clashes, officials said.

Police rushed to the spot to control the situation during which five policemen were injured, the police control room said.

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 in a tweet urged 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 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.

He said leaders of all political parties should ask their workers to maintain peace and they all should remain united.

Gehlot also chaired a high-level meeting at the Chief Minister's office to review the situation. He asked ministers Rajendra Yadav and Subhash Garg, and two officers to go to Jodhpur by helicopter.

The CM directed officials to take stern action against those responsible for it. A criminal, irrespective of his religion, caste or class, must not be spared, the CM told officials.

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