Maharashtra: Bulldozers raze houses on Mira Road after communal clashes

Police have arrested a person who was seen provoking people in a viral video on social media. So far 13 persons have been arrested

After 13 people were arrested for clashes between two religious communities at Mira Road near Mumbai, the district administration targeted multiple buildings and shanties, citing ‘illegal encroachments’. Bulldozers were pressed into action to raze the structures on Tuesday, January 23.

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Bulldozers, escorted by a large number of police and security personnel entered the area. According to police, 15 illegal structures have been demolished. A huge contingent of police personnel, including a Rapid Action Force (RAF) team, was deployed in the area to avoid any untoward incident.

Videos of the razing of the stalls have gone viral on social media.

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On January 21, a day ahead of the Ram temple inauguration, communal clashes broke out at Mira Road near Mumbai.

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Deputy Commissioner of Police Jayant Bajbale said the conflict broke out when some members of the Hindutva community raised ‘Jai Shri Ram‘ slogans in a Muslim-dominated area. “The conflict between the two religious communities broke out at around 11 pm on Sunday when some people of the Hindu community were raising slogans in 3-4 vehicles in the Naya Nagar area of Mira Road adjacent to Mumbai,” he told media persons.

Tensions flared up after a Muslim man’s vehicle was stopped by Hindutva mob and he was forced to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’. Despite chanting the slogan as told, a few persons from the mob took his vehicles key and left.

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“The situation has been brought under control and a flag march was conducted in the area. Naya Nagar Police has registered a case against 5 people, arrested them and has started investigating the matter,” said the official.

Meanwhile, investigations are underway. Maharashtra deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis said no such incidents will be tolerated and strict action has been ordered.

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The incident was reported a day before the inaugural of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, accompanied by Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel, chief minister Yogi Adiyanath, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwant and chairman of the Ram Janmabhoomi Trust Mahant Nritya Gopal Das.

Man held for posting communal video

Police have arrested a person who was seen provoking people in a viral video on social media.
Local police, Mumbai Police, Palghar Police, Thane Rural Police, RAF (Rapid Action Force), MSF (Maharashtra Security Force) and SRPF have been deployed in the area.

DCP Jayant Bajbale said, “Several videos of the clash between two communities in Mira Road adjacent to Mumbai went viral on social media. A video of a person named Abu Shaikh went viral where he was seen provoking people. The person who posted this video has been arrested and Mira Bhayander police have sought two days of custody.”

Meanwhile, additional commissioner of police Srikant Pathak appealed to everyone to maintain peace in the area. “The Police have taken timely action. We are investigating the entire matter by looking at the CCTV footage. There are small miscreants which still try to create nuisance,” he said.

(With ANI inputs)

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