Courtesy: Dawn News/Anadolu Agency
More than a dozen people were arrested in India’s Bihar on Sunday as raids continued in the state following two days of communal riots, according to local media.
Communal clashes were reported in West Bengal, Maharashtra, and Gujrat on Thursday and Friday during the Hindu festival of Ram Navmi which commemorates the birth of the Hindu deity Ram.
Local media said vehicles, houses as well as shops were set on fire and several people were injured.
On Saturday, ANI reported that fresh violence erupted in two to three places in Biharsharif in which one person was killed.
It quoted Superintendent of Police Ashok Mishra as saying that the person died during violence in Biharsharif and his body had been sent for a postmortem examination.
Subsequently, several arrests were made. Mishra said that eight first information reports had been filed and more than 50 people had been arrested in raids that were conducted at night.
Separately, Indian publication Scroll.in reported that authorities have banned gatherings of four or more persons in Sasaram and Biharsharif under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
It said that Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who was scheduled to take part in a function in Bihar’s Sasaram today, also canceled his visit because of the clashes.
However, Suvendu Adhikari, a senior BJP leader, accused the police of being a “silent spectator.”
According to India Today, BJP state president Sukanta Majumdar claimed that the violence was “orchestrated” by Mamata Banerjee in order to “retain her Muslim votes.”
On Saturday, Howrah Commissioner of Police Praveen Tripathi told a news conference that 38 people have been arrested for violent clashes in the city.
Over 100 more were also arrested in different states for their alleged links with the violent incidents.
This is not the first time communal clashes have erupted in India.
The rule of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party has emboldened hardline Hindu religious groups in recent years to take up causes that they say defend their faith, although his party has denied any rise in communal tensions during Modi’s reign.