Jharkhand’s capital Ranchi has been blanketed by heavy police cover as two persons succumbed to gunshot wounds sustained during Friday’s protest against controversial remarks on Prophet Mohammad by suspended BJP spokespersons as Hindutva outfits called for a bandh on Saturday against the violence.
Around 2,500 police personnel, including one IG rank and DIG rank officer each, six SP rank officers, 100 DSP rank officers besides two Rapid Action Force (RAF) battalions, have been deployed in sensitive areas of Ranchi city, IG (Operations) Amol V Homkar told PTI.
“Twelve policemen and 12 others have been injured in the violence. One policeman has sustained bullet injuries. The funeral of the two deceased will take place during the day. Internet services will remain suspended till the situation normalises. An FIR has been registered and some people have been detained. We are keeping a strict vigil on the situation,” he said.
Two critically injured people were brought to state-run Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) between 11.30 pm and midnight on Friday with bullet injuries and they died during the course of treatment, an official of the medical establishment said.
“One of the deceased, identified as Mohammad Mudassir Kaifi (22) had gunshot wounds on his head, while the other, identified as 24-year-old Mohammad Sahil, had received bullet injuries on his neck. Post-mortem reports stated that both died due to gunshot wounds. Both were residents of Ranchi,” he said, adding that eight others are in the ICU.
Over two dozen people were injured in the clashes that rocked the state capital on Friday, officials said. Thirteen of the critically injured people were admitted to RIMS, doctors there said.
“The injured include CRPF personnel and policemen,” the RIMS official said. Prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC have been clamped in 12 police station areas, including Sukhdev Nagar, Lower Bazar, Daily Market and Hindpidi, of Ranchi district besides Hazaribag and Ramgarh districts to prevent flareups,” officials said.
Internet has also been suspended in Ranchi district, they added. The situation is under control and is being monitored. CCTV footage and videos are being scrutinised, the officials said. Ranchi’s Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Surendra Kumar Jha was admitted to a hospital with head injury, officials said; he also received injuries on other parts of his body after he was hit by stones, they said.
Some Hindutva outfits called for a Ranchi bandh on Saturday, asking traders to keep their shops shut in protest against the violence.
“We have called for a peaceful Ranchi bandh today against yesterday’s incident. All Hindu religious organisations such as VHP, Hindu Jagaran Manch and others have extended their support to the bandh call,” Mahavir Mandal president Ashok Purohit told PTI.
He said traders have been urged to shut their shops voluntarily. “We will not take to the streets to enforce the bandh. Since morning, we are witnessing huge support from traders to our bandh call,” Purohit said.
Condemning the violence, Governor Ramesh Bais has asked Chief Minister Hemant Soren to take strict action against those involved.
The violent protesters have been demanding the arrest of suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma and expelled leader Naveen Jindal for their controversial remarks on Prophet Mohammad.