Jihadi attack on Shiva Devotees lead to Communal clash in Bareilly

published on August 16, 2010

Communal tension in Bareilly; curfew clamped

PNS | Lucknow

Communal tension flared up in Bareilly, when a group of kanwarias and members of the minority community had a violent clash on Monday evening. Top police officers, including IG (Bareilly Range) Gurbachan Lal, DIG NK Srivastava and DM Anil Garg, rushed to the spot to defuse the situation.

The police burst tear gas shells and cane-charged the troublemakers. Later, additional force was requisitioned and curfew was imposed in the troubled Faridpur area. Over a dozen persons, including cops, were injured in the incident. Police deployment in other sensitive parts of the city has been beefed up.

DIG NK Srivastava confirmed the imposition of curfew but refused to speak further claiming the situation was tense.

The incident was triggered off by opposition of minority community members to kanwarias using a loudspeaker while on their way for Jalabhishek to Lakhimpur Kheri on Monday evening.

The kanwarias rebutted, asking when the minority community could use loudspeakers in their religious places, why could they not do the same? This led to a verbal duel and culminated in a clash with both parties resorting to stone-pelting.

The situation took a turn for the worse when cops reached the spot and cane-charged them.

When the news of kanwarias being attacked reached the neighbouring areas, Hindus came out in large number. Finding the situation going out of hand, the DM and other officers imposed curfew in the area and summoned additional force for patrolling the area. The situation was tense but under control.

(Kanwarias, as they’re popularly called, are devotees of Lord Shiva. Dressed in Bhagva coloured clothes, they carry holy water (on kanwar) of river Ganga from Neelkanth, Gomukh or Haridwar to be poured on the Shivlinga in their hometown on the occasion of Shivratri. This journey on foot, when completed, is supposed to fulfil their wishes and endear them to Lord Shiva. kanwarias are so called because they carry a kanwar or pole on their shoulder with the covered water pots balanced on its two ends.)

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