In the last one month, several incidents of attack on Ganesha immersion procession are reported from different parts of India. Normally, these incidents are reported as a petty quarrel between two miscreant groups. They are considered as local isolated incidents and given less prominence in the media coverage. Attacks on minority communities, even smaller ones, during the same period have received prominent coverage in the public space.
Ganesha immersion procession was attacked in Gangondahalli Main Road in Chandra Layout, Bangalore on 21st Sept by some Muslim worshippers. They threw stones and pieces of meat into the procession. Around 5.30 p.m. the procession, which was taking five Ganesha idols to be immersed in a nearby tank, met with resistance. When the procession crossed a place of worship, those praying inside took objection to the disturbance caused by the procession. Three persons were injured. Members of the procession demanded immediate action from the police. [Ref]
In Vadodara, on 16th September, a Ganesha idol immersion procession was attacked. At least one person was killed and 20 others were injured in police firing and stone throwing. Trouble started late Sunday night after attack on the idol immersion procession at Fatehpura, people from both communities gathered in the area and threw stones, injuring about 15 people, including four policemen. Warring groups continued to throw stones at each other in the Fatehpura locality. An indefinite curfew was clamped in the areas under the Fatehpura police station.[Ref]
On 11th Sept, in Tiruvarur, 16th annual Vinayaka Chathurthi procession was attacked. When the procession passed through Kalladikollai, Jambhavanodai Dargah and Azadnagar and reached the New Pallivasal near Old Bus Stand, a voice uttered the words “Rioters are coming. Gather to prevent them,” through the loud-speaker. Then some people hrew stones and chappals at the police and on the processionists. To bring the situation under control, police resorted to a mild lathicharge, leading to injuries to three persons. The people inside the Pallivasal dispersed. When the procession resumed and approached Kuttiyar Pallivasal, a group of about 20 armed persons came on the scene. However, the police dispersed them. [Ref]
On Sept 8th, people from Muslim community resorted to stone pelting during the Ganesh visarjan (immersion) procession in Bharuch. The incident occurred when a procession from Ghikhudia area in Bharuch was obstructed by minority community near a religious place in Bahar ni Undai area, who complained about loud music being played by the procession. The situation turned ugly when some police officials were attacked and the mob started pelting stones. Apart from lobbing two teargas shells, the police also fired a round in the air to disperse the irate mob. A police motorcycle was also damaged and the mob also tried to snatch away a rifle from a policeman. At least six persons were injured in the clash. The police lobbed tear gas shells to disperse the mob. [Ref]
On September 5, in Dindigul, Tamil Nadu, five hundred members of various Muslim organisations were detained on Friday when they attempted to block a procession of immersion of Lord Vinayaka idols. The trouble broke out when members of the organisations, including Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam, attempted to stop the procession near a mosque and miscreants pelted stones. Police made a lathicharge and took the protesters into custody. A police constable was injured in stone-pelting. Tension prevailed in the area where 1,500 policemen had been deployed in view of its sensitive nature.[Ref]