Now, communal violence rocks Azamgarh

Now, communal violence rocks Azamgarh

One person was killed and about half a dozen others injured in a violent clash between two communities in the communally sensitive Azamgarh district of Uttar Pradesh.

The violence that erupted over construction of a religious structure at Mohammedpur Bazaar area on Monday triggered panic in other parts of the district. Security personnel have been deployed to maintain law and order.

Several vehicles were set on fire and shops were damaged by miscreants. The situation was tense as large number of people blocked the Azamgarh-Varanasi highway demanding arrest of the culprits and refused to cremate the victim’s body.

The inspector of the local police station has been suspended on charges of laxity, sources said.

According to police sources, trouble sparked off when members of a particular community tried to prevent the other from constructing a platform around an idol claiming that the site was under their control. The altercation soon turned into clashes during which shots were fired from both sides.

Six people sustained injuries in the violence in which one died on way to the hospital. The condition of another injured was stated to be critical and he has been referred to Varanasi for treatment, said SP Anant Dev.

The deceased was said to be the brother of the panchayat chief of Rasoolpur village.
Tension prevailed in the area and security forces were rushed from the neighbouring police stations to maintain law and order. Officials were trying to defuse the situation by speaking to the members of the two communities.

The administration was not taking any chances in view of the recent communal clashes in Muzaffarnagar district that had claimed 62 lives and left hundreds injured. Thousands of people were displaced in the riots and many of them are still living in relief camps.

More than a dozen incidents of communal violence have taken place in the state since the Samajwadi Party (SP) government assumed office in March 2012. Muslim leaders have slammed the state government for their alleged failure to check communal violence.

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