Haryana: Imam of mosque set afire among 4 killed in communal clashes

A local police officer confirmed that one of the home guards, identified as Neeraj, died due to a gunshot wound.

At least four people were killed and several others injured in communal clashes that rocked Haryana on Monday, July 31. The violence broke out during a procession organised by right-wing group Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) in Haryana’s Nuh district.

The violence quickly escalated to other parts of the state, including Gurugram, where a right-wing mob allegedly set a mosque afire and fired gunshots. As per reports, the Imam of the mosque, identified as Maulana Saad, was killed in the incident and two others were injured.

The other deceased include two home guards, identified as Gurusevak and Neeraj, and an unidentified person.

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Reports suggest that the violence started after Mohit Yadav alias Monu Manesar, appeared during the VHP procession. Mohit is a Bajrang Dal cow vigilante accused of burning two people alive on suspicion of cow smuggling in February this year. He was declared absconding by police.

Earlier, Mohit uploaded a video on his social media account informing about the Shobha Yatra in Mewat and urging his followers to participate in large numbers.


Mohit is the prime suspect in the murder of Muslim brothers Junaid, 35, and Nasir, 25, who were kidnapped, beaten up, and charred to death on suspicion of cow smuggling. Their bodies were found inside a burnt vehicle in Haryana’s Bhiwani district on February 16.

As news of the violence in Muslim-dominated Nuh spread, mobs in Sohna set ablaze several vehicles and shops belonging to the minority community. Protesters there blocked a road for hours.

Prohibitory orders banning assembly of people were clamped in Nuh and Gurugram districts. Mobile internet services were suspended in Nuh and Faridabad. Educational institutes were ordered closed Tuesday in Faridabad and Palwal districts as a precautionary measure.

Gurugram Police Commissioner Kala Ramachandran said two home guards, attached with the district, were killed in the violence in adjoining Nuh. About 10 police personnel were also injured, the official said.

Another police officer confirmed that one of the home guards, identified as Neeraj, died due to a gunshot wound.

Eight of the injured police personnel were taken to Gurugram’s Medanta Hospital, the officer said. Among the injured Hodal DSP Sajjan Singh was shot in the head and an inspector in the stomach.

Police said the vehicles set ablaze were part of the procession, or belonged to them. A video clip showed at least four cars on fire. Another purported video showed two damaged police cars. The clip contained sound of gunfire.

Later, right-wing mobs allegedly fired gunshots after setting a mosque afire in Gurugram’s Sector 57. Three people were were injured in the fire accident and shifted to a local hospital. One of them, Imam of the mosque, succumbed later.

Many people on social media posted about similar attacks on mosques in the nearby area. However, the siasat.com could not independently confirm veracity of those reports.

Suspending mobile internet services in Nuh, the Haryana government said there was “intense communal tension” in the area.

According to police, VHP’s ‘Brij Mandal Jalabhishek Yatra’ was stopped by a group of young men near Nuh’s Khedla Mod and stones pelted at the procession. People in the procession also hurled stones back at the youths who had stopped them and set cars ablaze, reports said.

Later, many took refuge in a temple as police tried to evacuate them to safety. The yatra was flagged off from Gurugram’s Civil Lines by BJP district president Gargi Kakkar. A police contingent was deployed with the procession.

State home minister Anil Vij said in the evening that three companies of central forces have already reached. According to the Union Home Ministry, the Centre is making available 15 additional companies were being made available to the state.

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar appealed for calm in Nuh, invoking the slogan “Haryana Ek Haryanvi Ek” (Haryanvis are one).

Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala called it a Black Day for Haryana, blaming the Khattar government for the failure of law and order.

Former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda asked people to maintain peace and brotherhood. Nuh MLA Aftab Ahmed and former legislator MLA Zakir Hussain also issued similar appeals.

“Our first priority is to bring the situation under control. We are appealing to all to maintain peace,” Vij said. He told reporters it will be determined later who was responsible for the violence.

(With inputs from PTI)

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