New Delhi, Apr 17 (EFE).- Several people were arrested on Sunday following fresh episodes of communal violence in India during the celebrations of a Hindu religious festival as the country witnesses escalating inter-religious tensions.
The incidents of violence occurred the previous day in the capital city of New Delhi and the southern state of Andhra Pradesh, while members of the Hindu majority were carrying out processions celebrating the anniversary of their deity, Lord Hanuman, during which they got into altercations with the Muslim minority community.
In New Delhi, “14 people have so far been arrested” for the altercations, which left “nine wounded,” Delhi Police Sub Inspector (social media cell) Amit Singh told EFE.
Among the injured were “a civilian and eight policemen,” and one of them was hit by a bullet during the clashes although his condition was later stable, the source said.
Social media footage showed a large group of people throwing stones at another group and at the security forces in the northwestern neighborhood of Jahangirpuri in the capital, while several charred vehicles lay on the roadside.
Although the situation was brought under control, “in order to maintain peace and tranquility in the area,” a meeting was held between the officials of all the police stations in the area, according to Singh.
Andhra Pradesh too witnessed communal violence the previous day during the Hindu procession, resulting in several people injured and some 20 under arrest.
As the procession passed next to a mosque, “those who were inside came towards the gate and started shouting their own slogans,” resulting in “minor stone pelting by both sides,” Police superintendent Sudheer Kumar of Kurnool, in Andhra Pradesh, told the media on Sunday.
“There are five or six people injured. Twenty people were arrested,” he said, adding that the situation had returned to normal.
The incidents come in the backdrop of growing religious tensions in India, after the states of Gujarat (west), Madhya Pradesh (center), and the Jharkhand and Bengal (east) witnessed incidents of violence between Hindus and Muslims a week ago during the celebration of the Hindu festival of Ram Navami.
This escalation of violence led 13 opposition parties to send a letter to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday, questioning his silence in the face of the recent clashes.
Numerous voices in the country have accused Hindu nationalist organizations of using these religious processions to stoke religious tensions. EFE