A United Nations spokesperson on Wednesday called on the Indian government and law enforcement agencies to ensure peace and harmony in Rajasthan’s Jodhpur as people celebrate festivals, including Eid. UN chief Antonio Guterres’ office also urged all communities in the city to work together.
Guterres’ office’s comments were a response to a question on communal clashes this week before Eid celebrations; five policemen were injured after two violence over the raising of Eid flags, prompting a curfew and suspension of mobile internet services. This was after similar clashes on Monday.
“I think the basic point is our hope that the various communities will work together and that the government and the security forces will ensure that everyone can go about their activities, including celebratory activities, peacefully,” Farhan Haq, the secretary-general’s deputy spokesperson, said.
Haq was responding to a question on whether the secretary-general could comment on violence in Jodhpur – the hometown of chief minister Ashok Gehlot – coinciding with the festival of Eid.
Heavy police presence remains across the whole district today and the curfew is being ‘strictly enforced’, Hawa Singh Ghumaria, additional director-general (law and order), told news agency ANI this morning, adding, “Every small incident occurring in the district is being monitored.”
So far 97 people have been arrested in connection with the violence.
Chief minister Gehlot on Tuesday described the violence as unfortunate and directed officials to take stern action against those responsible. “It is unfortunate that tension has been triggered due to the clash between two groups… administration has been instructed to maintain peace and order…”
Predictably the violence has also sparked a political blame game, with the opposition BJP ripping into the ruling Congress. The BJP’s Rajyavardhan Rathore on Tuesday accused Gehlot of ‘appeasement politics’.