Violence marred Ram Navami celebrations in parts of the country, with one person killed and 12 others injured at Lohardaga in Jharkhand, while curfew was clamped in Madhya Pradesh's Khargone city and 77 people were arrested there, officials said on Monday.
Khargone's Superintendent of Police Siddharth Choudhary received bullet injury and at least 24 other people, including six policemen, were also injured in the arson on Sunday during the festival which marks the birthday of Lord Ram, they said.
In Gujarat, police arrested nine people for violence and stone-pelting during a Ram Navami procession at Khambat in Anand district, while CrPC Section 144 was imposed in Himmatnagar town of Sabarkantha district following a similar incident there.
A similar stone-pelting incident was also reported during a Ram Navami procession in Sendhwa town of MP's Barwani district where a police station in-charge and five others were injured. The situation was later brought under control, according to officials.
The Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) alleged that minority community leaders and Left liberals are to be blamed for "attacks" across the country on people celebrating Ram Navami and cautioned them against leading their followers on the path of violence.
In a video message, VHP joint general secretary Surendra Jain termed the violence in Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Jharkhand and Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in New Delhi as "unfortunate" and said it is everybody's responsibility to ensure such incidents do not happen.
In Lohardaga, one person died and 12 people suffered injuries following clashes between members of two communities near Hirhi village on Sunday evening after a group of miscreants pelted a Ram Navami procession with stones, district officials said.
Internet services have been suspended in Lohardaga town and prohibitory orders under Section 144 CrPC imposed in the entire district, Sub-divisional Officer Arbind Kumar Lal said.
Ten bikes and a pick-up van were set on fire during the violence, the officials said.
It took district officials and the police at least an hour to bring the situation under control.
In MP's Khargone city, police had to fire tear gas shells to control the situation after stone-pelting took place at a procession on Ram Navami.
Curfew was clamped in the entire city on Sunday evening following the incident, as per an order issued by the office of Khargone Collector Anugrah P.
MP Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan termed the incident as unfortunate and said the damages for public and private properties will be recovered from rioters.
The rioters have been identified and will not be spared. Strict action will be taken against them. There is no place for rioters in Madhya Pradesh, he said.
Khargone collector said the situation is now under control and citizens have been asked to step out of home only for medical emergency.
MP Home Minister Narottam Mishra said 77 people have been arrested so far in connection with the violence in Khargone and the government will not allow anyone to disturb peace in the state.
Mishra confirmed that Khargone SP Siddharth Choudhary suffered bullet splinter injuries in his leg. Six other police personnel were also injured, he said.
A citizen, Shivam Shukla, received serious head injuries and is undergoing treatment, but the condition of all others is normal, he said.
“The houses from where stones were pelted will be turned into rubble. The state government's stand is clear and nobody will be allowed to disturb the peace here," Mishra said.
Some people who are hurt by the outcome of the recently held Assembly elections in five states are now instigating the violence, the minister claimed.
Deputy Inspector General, Nimar Range, Tilak Singh said 24 people, including six policemen, were injured in the violence and their medical examination was conducted.
In Gujarat, police arrested nine people after violence and stone-pelting during the Ram Navami procession at Khambat in Anand district, in which one person was killed on Sunday.
"The situation in Khambhat town is under control. We have already arrested nine suspects and started further investigation," Superintendent of Police Ajit Rajian said.
As per police sources, those arrested include some local maulvis (priests).
In Himmatnagar town of Sabarkantha, CrPC Section 144 has been imposed in some sensitive areas, including Chhaparia, till April 13, officials said.
Gujarat Minister of State for Home Harsh Sanghavi called a meeting of top police officials in Gandhinagar late Sunday night over these incidents and gave necessary orders, they said.(With PTI inputs)