While no fresh incidents of violence was reported from Haryana’s Nuh town on Thursday and the authorities claimed the situation is returning to normal three days after communal clashes in the region, police are probing two cases of fire incidents at different mosques in the district’s Tarau area reported on Wednesday.
On Thursday, amid heavy police deployment, Nuh wore a deserted look — its shops closed and people remaining indoors. Although curfew was lifted from 9 am to 1 pm and internet was restored for a few hours in the afternoon, a sense of normalcy had not returned.
Police suspect both blazes were likely caused by electrical short-circuit. “We are checking the cause of fire. Police have been deployed in both mosques,” Superintendent of Police Varun Singla said.
Gurcharan Malik, chairman of the board that maintains Nalhar Mahadev Shiv Mandir, said people were on edge because many provocative videos were circulated online. But, he told The Indian Express, “In no time, Meos (locals from Muslim community) will be back at shops run by Hindus, and Hindus at that of Meos.” He said the area has not seen communal violence since 1992.
Claiming that the situation is fast returning to normal in the state, Haryana’s Additional Chief Secretary (Home) T V S N Prasad said in Chandigarh that 176 people have been arrested and 78 taken into preventive detention in connection with the communal clashes. He said 93 FIRs have been registered: 46 in Nuh, 23 in Gurugram, three each in Faridabad and Rewari, and 18 in Palwal.
Nuh Deputy Commissioner Prashant Panwar and SP Varun Singla have appealed to ulemas to offer Friday prayers at home and urged them to encourage people to do the same. Meanwhile, a day after he told The Indian Express that 3,000 to 4,000 people were stuck at the temple during Monday’s violence, temple priest Deepak Sharma on Thursday put the number at 1,500.