Clashes erupt in Chhattisgarh town over Milad-un-Nabi flags

Hyderabad: Tensions are rife in the Kawardha district of Chattisgarh as clashes broke out between Hindus and Muslims a day earlier on Monday over the hoisting of green crescent flags put up for Milad-un-Nabi.

The city was decorated with green crescent flags on the occasion of the upcoming Milad-un-Nabi (birth anniversary of the Prophet Muhammed). Members of the Hindu Sena (a right-wing militant group) reportedly took out the flags and tore them up or burned them which grossly offended Muslim sentiments in the city as the flag represents their faith.

Free Press Journal reported that the two groups clashed with each other over the hoisting of the flash of their respective sect at the Lohara Naka on Sunday and the situation started deteriorating when both the religious groups asserted their claim over the controversial place to host their respective flag.

Media reports further claimed that it all started with an argument, which transformed from a verbal spate to a physical fight, followed by subsequent stone-pelting.

However, other local sources allege that the conflict was triggered when Muslims tried to oppose the burning and tearing up of the green crescent flags by the Hindu Sena, who mistook the flags as Pakistan flags.

Subsequently, heavy deployment of police was made at the spot within one hour of the incident, even senior officers from the district administration and police reportedly rushed to the spot but the fight did not stop.

“The anti-social elements in both the groups continuously spoiled the environment and the situation became explosive,” a trader Mahesh told the media.

The district collector Ramesh Sharma reportedly stated that the police had to use mild force to keep the situation under control and to disperse the frenzied mob. “Nobody will be allowed to take law and order into their hands. We have put the situation under control including enforcement of section 144 in the area, all other precautionary measures have been taken. But police will remain deployed in the area till the tension is diffused,” he further added.

Police have been ordered to collect the CCTV footage and identify and arrest the miscreants, the collector stated. Moreover, five years, a ago similar conflicting situation occurred when some anti-social elements tore the photo of Bharat Mata installed at the chowk, locals said.