Clashes erupt in India’s New Delhi during Hindu procession
Clashes broke out during a Hindu religious procession in the Indian capital, New Delhi, on Saturday that left several people and police officers injured.
The violence erupted between Muslims and Hindus during the procession in Jahangirpuri, a suburb of New Delhi, eye witnesses said.
Police said they were still investigating the source of the disturbances.
“We are still assessing how many people are injured … some policemen have also been hurt,” said Deependra Pathak, a police official in Jahangirpuri.
The violence broke out during a procession to mark the Hindu festival of Hanuman Jayanti, police said without giving further details.
Earlier on Saturday, protesters in New Delhi shouted slogans against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government saying Muslims had been violently targeted by authorities last week in the aftermath of Hindu-Muslim clashes in parts of three states ruled by Modi’s Hindu nationalist party.
The clashes last Sunday during a religious festival prompted police to impose a curfew in one town and ban gatherings of more than four people in parts of the states.
Local authorities tore down the homes and shops of suspected Muslim rioters in central Madhya Pradesh state in the aftermath of last weekend’s violence that broke out during the Hindu festival of Ram Navami, said a police official who did not want to be named.
In Modi’s home state, Gujarat, authorities demolished makeshift shops belonging to those they said were involved in the riots in which one man was killed.
Opposition politicians have accused Modi’s right-wing Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party of stoking tensions between majority Hindus and Muslims in states that it rules.
Leaders of 13 opposition parties issued a joint statement calling for peace and harmony after the religious clashes.
“We are extremely anguished at the manner in which issues related to food, dress, faith, festivals and language are being deliberately used by sections of the ruling establishment to polarise our society,” the leaders said.