Imam killed in attack on Gurugram mosque, Haryana violence toll now 5

Authorities clamped a curfew Tuesday morning in Nuh district. Security forces held flag marches in adjoining districts as well and several peace committee meetings were organised

Representative image (photo: Getty Images)
Representative image (photo: Getty Images)
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PTI

Mobs killed a cleric in a late-night attack on a mosque, torched an eatery and vandalised shops as communal violence that began in Haryana’s Nuh spilled over into neighbouring Gurugram, taking the death toll to five, police said on Tuesday.

People also blocked a road and downed shutters over the attack on a Vishva Hindu Parishad procession in Nuh a day earlier, and a ‘panchayat’ targeted Muslims as the district adjoining the national capital remained on edge.

Apart from Gurugram, violence was also reported from Palwal district where a mob set over 25 huts in Parshuram Colony on fire. Police said nobody was hurt. In Rajasthan’s Bhiwadi town, “two or three” shops on the highway were vandalised.

Two more people, among the over 50 injured in Nuh on Monday, died in hospital. Two of the four dead in that clash were home guards. Ten of the injured are policemen, three of them on ventilator support.

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar called the Nuh attack a part of a larger conspiracy, while the VHP demanded a probe by the National Investigation Agency.

Authorities clamped a curfew Tuesday morning in Nuh district. Security forces held flag marches in adjoining districts as well and several peace committee meetings were organised.

Hours after mobs targeted the VHP procession — opening fire, pelting stones and torching cars – at Khedla Mod in Nuh, rioters burnt vehicles and shops in Gurugram’s Sohna town. No casualties were reported there as police dispersed the Sohna mob by 9 pm Monday.

But past midnight, a group of 100 people targeted the Anjuman Masjid in Gurugram’s sector 57. Police said the slogan-shouting mob pelted stones and opened fire at the four people inside the mosque.


The attackers also fired upon policemen who had reached the mosque, assistant sub inspector Inder Singh said in his report. Police rescued two men as the mob set fire to the mosque.

Naib imam Mohammed Saad and Khurshid Alam were seriously injured. Saad, 26, a Bihar native, was declared dead at hospital. Police have lodged an FIR, naming 10 attackers. Reports said five people were rounded up.

On Tuesday afternoon, people shouting Jai Shri Ram slogans set fire to a roadside eatery in Gurugram’s Badshahpur. Some shops in the market nearby were also vandalised, police said.

The fire brigade doused the flames. When police reached the spot, the rioters – said to be around 70 – fled on their motorcycles and other vehicles, officials said.

Five meat shops were vandalised by another mob in Pataudi Chowk. The rioters fled as police arrived.

Traders downed shutters along the 20-km Badshahpur-Sohna road, protesting over the Nuh violence. In Manesar, people from nearby villagers blocked the Delhi-Jaipur highway. When police dispersed them, they gathered at a temple to hold a ‘pachayat.

Targeting the Muslim community, the 'panchayat' decided that “people involved in criminal activities” should be asked to leave Manesar.

There were also unconfirmed reports that Muslim residents in some parts of Gurugram district were moving out of their homes for now. But the administration denied this, and appealed to people not to spread rumours.

The Gurugram Police booked Dinesh Bharti, who heads right-wing Jai Bharat Mata Vahini, for allegedly posting a video on social media a video inciting communal violence.

The district authorities announced that educational institutions ordered closed on Tuesday will reopen Wednesday, except for those in Sohna. In the Sohna clash on Monday night, five vehicles and three shops were damaged, according to the administration.


Haryana CM Khattar said the Nuh violence appeared to be part of a “big conspiracy” and warned of strict action against the culprits. “No rioter will be spared,” he said.

Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij also claimed the violence was “engineered”.

"Somebody masterminded it but I don’t want to reach any conclusions. We will investigate this and every single person responsible will be brought to justice," he said.

In Delhi, VHP joint general secretary Surendra Jain claimed the attack was carried out against Hindu devotees “in a pre-planned manner” and was "incited" by some Congress leaders from Haryana.

He alleged intelligence failure by the state government, and also called for an NIA investigation.

CM Khattar said 16 paramilitary and 30 Haryana Police companies are deployed in Nuh, where 44 FIRs were registered and 70 people taken into custody.

At least 120 vehicles were damaged in Nuh. Fifty of them, including eight belonging to police, were set ablaze as mobs tried to stop the VHP's Brij Mandal Jalabhishek Yatra to some temples in the district, officials said.

Security has been tightened at temples and mosques, an official said.

On Monday, mobile internet services were suspended in Nuh and Faridabad up to Wednesday. Prohibitory orders were clamped in the adjoining districts.

Educational institutes were ordered to remain shut on Tuesday in Gurugram, Faridabad and Palwal districts as a precautionary measure. 

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