RANCHI: Section 144 was imposed in parts of Ranchi on Friday after a protest erupted against controversial remarks made by suspended BJP leader Nupur Sharma and expelled party leader Naveen Jindal, officials said.
“Prohibitory orders under Section 144 has been imposed from Sujata Chowk to Firayalal Chowk on Main road and 500 metres on either side of the road. Assembly of five or more people is prohibited in the area,” Ranchi deputy commisioner’s office said in a statement.
Home secretary Rajiv Arun Ekka in a notification said that internet services will remain suspended till 6am on Saturday
The protest turned violent as people gathered near Daily Market on Mahatma Gandhi road (called main road) after the Friday prayers around 3 pm, an hour after Ranchi police conducted a flag March in the area sensing trouble.
As the gathering started marching towards Firayalal Chowk, police tried to stop them as permission was not granted for the procession. However, the policmen were outnumbered and protestees moved ahead. As police baton charged, the protesters started pelting stones and empty glass bottles, leaving a few policemen injured.
Several vehicles, including four wheelers and bikes were badly damaged by the protesters.
As reinforcements rushed in, police pushed the protesters behind and had to fire several rounds in the air to disperse the crowd.
“We are camping along with other senior officers on the ground. Situation is tense but under control,” said Anish Gupta, deputy inspector general, Ranchi.
“Thirteen people are admitted at Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), including policemen and others, who were injured in the violence,” a source at the hospital said.
Ranchi deputy commissioner (DC) Chhavi Ranjan in a tweet said that he has spoken to RIMS director and best possible treatment is being provided to them.
Chief minister Hemant Soren called for peace saying he has faith on people of Jharkhand who are sensible people.
“We are going through testing times. I have faith in people of Jharkhand. There are provisions for punishment in law and constitution for committing crime. I appeal all not to take law in their hands,” Soren said.
Meanwhile, the opposition BJP described it as government’s failure. “Such large scale violence happened after police conducted flag march in the area. Police had to open fire after being attacked by protesters. Has the government intelligence completely failed?” questioned BJP legislature party leader Babulal Marandi.