Violent clashes between Hindus and Muslims had erupted just 50 km south of the Indian national capital New Delhi. At least five people, including two police personnel, were killed in the clashes, police officials told Reuters.
The violence erupted after a Hindu religious procession passing through was attacked in the Muslim-dominated Nuh region in Haryana state, the officials said.
Two home guards constables were shot dead and about a dozen police officers were injured. The deceased have been identified as Neeraj and Gursevak who were deployed at Khedali Daula police station.
As per the police officials, the mob attacked the police teams when they were rushing towards Mewat from Gurugram.
Earlier hundreds of Hindu pilgrims had to take refuge in a local temple when a large group of Muslim community members attacked a Hindu religious ‘Shobha Yatra.’
Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij told ANI, “Some people were held against their will inside a temple.”
“Those trapped inside the temple shared their live location with me through Google navigation. I passed on certain instructions to the police.”
An officer, Mamata Singh, led a police team, braving the odds, and reached the scene on time. The people held inside the temple were rescued,”Minister Vij said.
Nuh Deputy Commissioner appealed to all to maintain peace and informed that all stranded people have been rescued.
Nuh Deputy Commissioner Prashant Panwar says, “Section 144 has been imposed in the district. Curfew orders have been given…We appeal to all to maintain peace.
“All stranded people have been rescued… 1 casualty has been reported. The situation is normal now and a curfew has been imposed in the district…”.
Gurugram CP Kala Ramachandran appealed to the people not to post anything related to the incident on social media which can hurt religious sentiments.
“Don’t put any post on social media related to this incident that spreads violence and frenzy, which can hurt religious sentiments, mutual brotherhood and spread unrest.”
“If anyone puts such posts on social media or the Internet, prompt action will be taken against him by the Gurugram Police,” said CP Kala Ramachandran
By the evening, the violence had spilled over into neighbouring Gurugram, where a mosque was torched, killing the cleric and injuring another person.
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar called the incident “unfortunate” and said that clashes broke out at several places and that a big conspiracy seems behind the violence.
While taking to Twitter, said that the guilty in the incident will not be spared.
“Incident is unfortunate. I appeal to everyone to maintain peace in the state. The guilty will not be spared at any cost, and the strictest action will be taken against them,” Khattar said.
Haryana government has suspended mobile internet services.
The Haryana Government, in an official notification, has said that the order has been taken to stop the spread of misinformation and rumours through social media platforms.
“In order to stop the spread of misinformation and rumours through various social media platforms, such as WhatsApp, Facebook Twitter, etc.
on mobile phones and SMS, for facilitation and mobilisation of mobs of agitators and demonstrators who can cause serious loss of life and damage to public and private properties by indulging in arson or vandalism and other types of violent activities.”
Home Secretary, Haryana do order the suspension of the mobile internet services and all dongle services etc. provided on mobile networks except the voice calls in the territorial jurisdiction of district Nuh of Haryana State,” the order said.
It further said that all telecom service providers of Haryana are directed to ensure the compliance of this order.
Former Haryana CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda called the incident ‘unfortunate’ and said, “This is a very unfortunate incident. I appeal to people to maintain peace and law and order. “
Congress MP Deepender Hooda also appealed to the people to maintain peace.
“The incident from Mewat is very unfortunate I’m appealing to people with folding hands…please maintain brotherhood, harmony and peace…,”Hooda said.
Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij on Nuh clashes; “Not random act of violence.”
“It did not seem to be a random act of violence. All communities have been residing peacefully in Nuh. Someone appeared to have incited violence.”
“Someone masterminded and engineered it. Stones, along with weapons and bullets, were stockpiled at various places,”the Minister Vij said.
He added that like in previous years, adequate security arrangements were made for the procession.
“Like previous years, we had deployed an adequate number of police personnel along the Yatra route.”
“However, I don’t want to jump to any conclusion,” Minister Vij added.
Meanwhile, Aam Admi Party (AAP) MP Sanjeev Arora issued a notice to Indian Parliament’s upper house- Rajya Sabha seeking a short-duration discussion on August 2 over the communal violence that has erupted.
AAP MP Sanjeev Arora in his notice emphasised that the violence has spread to Gurugram and Indian Central government should take immediate steps to restore law and order in the region.
“I am deeply concerned about the recent communal violence that erupted in the Nuh area and later spread to Gurgaon, resulting in the loss of lives of three security personnel and injuries to many others. I condemn this act of violence and appeal for peace and harmony among all communities,” the notice read.
“I also express my solidarity with the people who are trapped in Narhar temple and urge the authorities to rescue them as soon as possible.”
“I urge the government to take immediate steps to restore law and order, ensure the safety and security of all citizens, and initiate a dialogue with all stakeholders to address the underlying issues that led to this conflict,” it added.