Telangana proves communal violence can be averted despite religious processions: Report


Hyderabad: A recent report on communal violence in 13 states during Ram Navami and Hanuman Jayanthi in 2022 said that Telangana proved that it is possible to take out religious processions while also maintaining peace and harmony.

The report Routes of Wrath is written by the Citizens and Lawyers Initiative. Former Supreme Court judge Rohinton Nariman, in the foreword, praised the Telangana police force as well as Telangana High Court for ensuring peace and harmony existed between Hindu and Muslim communities during the Ram Navami and Hanuman Jayanti festivities.

The report examined how “…in state after state, including some under non-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), outwardly secular chief ministers, the routes permitted for Ram Navami and Hanuman Jayanti processions, and of course their timings and the freedom to halt in front of major mosques, led invariably to rioting”.

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Stating that the appalling loss caused by marauding mobs was followed by the brutal destruction of homes and shops by tyrannical administrations, the report said that the violence was neither inevitable nor unavoidable.

The report said that “elementary precautions taken by the state administration and the police authorities in Telangana, which were strongly endorsed and backed up by Justice Lalitha Kanneganti, resulted in absolute peace and harmony even though huge Ram Navami processions were taken through Hyderabad and Bhainsa”.

Analysing the strict limits imposed by different police commissioners on Ram Navami Shobha Yatras held on April 10, 2022 in different parts of the state, the report speculated that the orders must have come from either the chief minister or the home minister.

“The takeaway from Telangana’s handling of these religious processions is that where the administration and the courts wish to prevent communal clashes and riots even while allowing religious processions, they can,” said the report.

Justice Lalitha Kanneganti balanced the constitutional right of Hindus to take out a religious procession, with the need to maintain peace and harmony in a secular nation, and allowed the procession while making it subject to stringent conditions, added the report.

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( With inputs from )

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