A religious procession took a violent and communal turn in Gopalganj, Bihar, as a mosque was vandalized during the Mahavir Akhara procession on the evening of October 1. The incident occurred within the jurisdiction of Hathua Police Station, where tensions escalated between two groups, leading to chaos and unrest in the area.
The Superintendent of Police, Swarna Prabhat, commented on the situation, saying, “Two groups clashed with each other during the Mahavir Akhara procession on October 1 evening in Gopalganj. The clashes escalated violence in the area. However, the police teams brought the situation under control within a short period of time.”
A video of SDPO Anurag Kumar has been circulating on social media, in which he can be seen shouting slogans of ‘Jai Sri Ram’ during the procession. He was seen leading the Mahaviri Arena of the procession while raising these slogans. The video also shows the mosque in close proximity to the procession.
With approximately 20 thousand people present at the scene, SDPO Anurag Kumar’s actions were aimed at dispersing the crowd away from the mosque at Chiktoli, according to the police.
Superintendent Prabhat said, “SDPO shouted slogans of ‘Jai Sri Ram’ for controlling law and order.” However, he also noted, “It is inappropriate to raise religious slogans in police uniforms.”
According to local resident Ahmed, the situation took a turn for the worse when several akhara groups approached the Masjid and engaged in a scuffle with the police. He claimed that the people in the procession initiated the attack on the mosque.
Ahmed stated, “The videos that are viral don’t carry the footage when the mosque and houses belonging to Muslims were attacked. Muslims retaliated only when the attack started from the other side.”
Ahmed further stated that several Muslims were arrested following the incident.
“Only four people from the other side who created the trouble were arrested,” he added.