The Indian Herald

The Indian Herald

September 15, 2011

Curfew in Bharatpur: Police fire after groups clash over land dispute

Curfew was imposed in Bharatpur town in Rajasthan after the communal violence between two groups and the police firing that resulted in the death of eight persons.

The trouble began over the land for Muslim graveyard in Gopalgarh. The Gujjars who claimed ownership of the same land were opposed to Meo Muslims using the land as graveyard.

As a result there was tension in the area for the last couple of days. On Wednesday, violent clashes occurred between groups belonging to the two communities. Police resorted to firing in which several persons died. Reports about the number of persons killed in the firing varied.

The district collector had initially said that eight persons were killed but later retracted and said that he had been misinformed by the hospital authorities, as some of the victims were just unconscious and when checked again they were found to be alive.

But later as the persons injured in the violence succumbed, the death toll went up to eight. Activist Shabnam Hashmi has expressed fears that the number of persons killed could be even more.

Additional police force has been sent to Bharatpur. The Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and top police officials are keeping an eye on the law-and-order situation. Bharatpur distict borders Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. It has a large population of Muslim Mev community that is spread in Mewat region in three states.

As burnt bodies were recovered from a well, it became clear that the administration had failed to control the situation. Minority groups have alleged that the police was in cahoots with attackers who even fired at Muslims in a mosque. Muslim groups have demanded a CBI inquiry and removal of DM and SP.

TIH Bureau

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