In yet another shocking incident, clashes broke out between two communities allegedly over the Vikram Samvat Procession in Bhagalpur, Bihar. Vikram Samvat marks the beginning of Hindu New Year, 2075. The procession was organised to educate the young citizens about the Hindu calendar and to peacefully celebrate the auspicious occasion.
Reports indicate that when the procession was passing through Medinagar Chowk, people from other community objected to the songs being played. This lead to an argument followed by stone pelting and even gunshots. Several people were injured including six policemen. A motorbike was set on fire and shops in the area were vandalised.
Bhagalpur, Bihar Stone pelting & Firing during Hindu Year Celebration rally
Rally was crossing muslim majority area medininagar sudden people started Stone Pelting & Firing many people injured including local police pic.twitter.com/sEs0CnmOkT
— ✍Prakash✍ (@prakashSriv) March 17, 2018
The Bhagalpur clashes continued for five hours and the internet connection was also blocked to prevent spreading of rumours. It is being reported that 50 rounds were fired during the clashes. As earlier reported by The UBR, the question of how common people are able to procure guns stands unanswered.
The DM and SSP had reached the spot to control the situation but were unable to do so until additional forces arrived. The SSP stated that the miscreants would be identified and brought to justice. Reportedly, police from 20 stations are presently camping in the area.
Today the bullet shot between two communities in Bhagalpur Bihar pic.twitter.com/RUOsCLTVEg
— adil khan (@adilkha00727181) March 17, 2018
This is not the first time in the past few months that processions of Hindu or Indian festival have come under attack. The processions of Durga Puja immersion in Kolkata were halted to prevent communal clashes. Earlier this year, clashes broke out in Kasganj during the celebration of Independence Day.
The UBR View: While who started the trouble leading to the clashes is for police to investigate, the term Muslim dominated area is being thrown around. What is a Muslim dominated area? India is my country and as an Indian citizen, the Constitution gives me right to move wherever I want and practice my faith as per my wish. There should be no such thing as Muslim dominated area or it will set a bad precedent and then there could be other religion dominated area leading to such clashes more frequently. No one can or should try to make ‘no-go’ zones in the country. As Indian citizens, we are free to move wherever we want.