Gujarat Home Minister Harsh Sanghavi on Tuesday said that in Vadodara last week during the Ram Navami procession those who have fled and gone into hiding after pelting stones will be eventually traced and brought to justice.
He stated the stone pelting at the Ram Navami processions a “very serious” issue, he said the state government is equally serious about arresting those involved in this offence.
Gujarat’s home minister also said “Be it Eid or Diwali, these festivals are not meant to create divisions in society. Throwing stones at Ram Navami processions passing peacefully is a very serious matter and we have also taken it seriously. After coming here, I held a meeting with officials over this issue to find out why this happened and we also watched CCTV as well as media footage of these incidents,”
According to Vadodara police, more than 35 people, including women, were arrested on March 30 for allegedly pelting stones at two Ram Navami processions in communally sensitive areas of Fatehpura and Kumbharwada in Vadodara city.
“Those who have fled the city and gone into hiding after throwing stones will be eventually traced and brought to the city. We will nab every person and take strict action against them,” he added.
According to police, at least two people were injured in stone pelting by a mob on Ram Navami in Kumbharwada. They claimed that local Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Manisha Vakil was part of the procession which came under attack at Kumbharwada.
In some videos which went viral, people could be seen running for shelter during stone pelting, and a chariot carrying a statue of Lord Ram is also pulled away to a safer location by devotees to protect it from the stones. Some of the injured persons said that miscreants hurled stones at them from the terraces of nearby structures.
Hours before that incident, in the Fatehpura area, stones were thrown at a Ram Navami procession, organised by the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal.
Hindu organisations claimed that, despite knowing that similar incidents of violence had occurred in these areas in the past, police were nowhere to be found when the procession took place on this route every year and was attacked.
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