Curfew was imposed and mobile internet services suspended in two villages of Rajasthan's Hanumangarh district after protesters demanding action against those involved in cow slaughter clashed with police, officials said on Thursday.
Forty-five people have been rounded up in connection with the violence that took place on Wednesday evening, they said. "Curfew was imposed in Gandhibadi and Chidiya Gandhi gram panchayats on Wednesday evening. Only emergency services are permitted. Mobile internet services have also been suspended," District Collector Nathmal Didel said.
On July 11, a woman informed police that cow slaughter took place in Chidiya Gandhi village. Samples were collected and sent to the Forensic Science Laboratory for testing. In the report, which came on July 18, one of the samples was found to be beef, he said.
"An FIR was registered and six people were arrested but the people in Gandhibadi had been raising other demands like more arrests, an inspection of a religious place, and installation of CCTV, etc.," he added.
To press their demand, some locals started a dharna in Gandhibadi village on July 24 without permission. Talks were held with them and they were asked to call off the protest as Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) is in force in the area but they did not relent, Didel said. "Their tent and other items were seized, and some of the protesters were arrested for violating Section 144. Later, they again assembled in Gandhibadi and pelted stones at police personnel on Wednesday evening, injuring five of them," he said.
After this, he said, a curfew was imposed in Gandhibadi and Chidiya Gandhi villages, both of which fall under the Bharani police station area. The collector said 45 people have been rounded up in connection with the violence.