Wednesday, Aug 17, 2022

Jharkhand Governor Summons State Police Chief, Top Officials Over Ranchi Violence

Protests over comments of former Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Nupur Sharma on Prophet Muhammad turned violent in Ranchi on Friday.

Stone-pelting during violent protests in Jharkhands Ranchi PTI photo

Jharkhand Governor Ramesh Bais on Monday summoned Director General of Police (DGP) Neeraj Sinha and other senior state officials to Raj Bhavan over the violence on Friday in which two people were killed and over two dozen, including police personnel, were injured. 

Violence erupted in Jharkhand's capital Ranchi on Friday after protests over former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Nupur Sharma's comments on Prophet Muhammad turned violent and the mob spilled out on Main Road after Friday prayers and pelted stones and shouted slogans. The police resorted to lathi-charge and aerial firing.

The recent violence in Ranchi and sought to know why water cannon, rubber bullets or tear gas were not used to disperse the crowd and why the administration failed to take preventive action.

An official statement from Raj Bhawan said, "Why didn't you use water cannon, rubber bullets and tear gas. There was no provision for these things there. Why? 

What information did the administration have about the proposed event, picketing, demonstration, procession and what arrangements you had made. You have IB, CID and what inputs did the special branch give? How many security personnel and magistrates were present there during the operation of the procession? Why didn't you take any preventive action?"

Ranchi Deputy Commissioner Chhavi Ranjan was among the officials asked to meet the governor at his official residence on Monday.

Police had on Saturday said 12 of its personnel and an equal number of civilians were injured in the protests that turned violent. Eyewitnesses, however, have claimed the number could be over 60. Ranchi's Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Surendra Kumar Jha, who was admitted to a hospital with head injury, was among the injured. IG (Operations) Amol V Homkar said a policeman also sustained bullet injuries. 

Following the vioelnce, prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC were imposed in 12 police station areas of Sukhdev Nagar, Lower Bazar, Daily Market, and Hindpidi in Ranchi and in Hazaribag and Ramgarh districts to prevent flareups. Officials added that internet had also been suspended in Ranchi district.

Rapid Action Force, anti-terrorism squad, special task force, and district police remained had been deployed at strategic locations, including 38 identified vulnerable pockets. Since then, internet services have been restored in Ranchi. 

(With PTI inputs)