NEW DELHI (REUTERS) – Clashes broke out during a Hindu religious procession in the Indian capital New Delhi on Saturday (April 16), injuring several people, including policemen, police said, days after similar religious violence in three states.
Eyewitnesses told Reuters that the violence erupted between Muslims and Hindus during the procession in Jahangirpuri, a suburb of New Delhi.
Police said they were still investigating.
“We are still assessing how many people are injured… some policemen have also been hurt,” said Deependra Pathak, a police official in Jahangirpuri, wearing riot gear.
The violence broke out during a procession to mark the Hindu festival of Hanuman Jayanti, police said without giving more details.
Earlier on Saturday, protesters in New Delhi shouted slogans against Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government saying Muslims were violently targeted by authorities in the aftermath of Hindu-Muslim clashes in parts of three states ruled by Modi’s Hindu nationalist party.
The clashes last Sunday during a religious festival prompted police to impose a curfew in one town and ban gatherings of more than four people in parts of the states.
Local authorities tore down the homes and shops of suspected Muslim rioters in central Madhya Pradesh state in the aftermath of violence that broke out during the Hindu festival of Ram Navami, according to a police official who did not want to be named.
In Modi’s home state, Gujarat, authorities demolished makeshift shops belonging to those they said were involved in the riots in which one man was killed, said an official in Anand district in Gujarat, where the clashes erupted.
Police and local authorities told Reuters after the clashes that they were free from bias and acting within the law.