Authorities blocked mobile phone and internet services in Uttarakhand’s Landhaura on Thursday and police detained Congress and BJP leaders attempting to enter the town rocked by communal violence sparked by a shopkeeper’s eviction.
Twenty three people, including a relative of the sitting MLA Pranav Singh Champion, were arrested for Wednesday’s violence that left more than 20 people injured in the town close to the pilgrim city of Haridwar.
Ten vehicles were also torched by a mob after a religious book was allegedly thrown on the road by the main accused who was evicting a shopkeeper from his rented premises.
“The situation is under control. No fresh violence has been reported so far. We (have) arrested the main accused. Twenty two other people were also arrested from both sides,” said Rajiv Swaroop, the Haridwar senior superintendent of police.
Thirteen members of a Congress fact-finding team and five BJP MLAs from Haridwar were detained while they were trying to enter the town separately.
Police said the main accused, Rajkumar alias Krishna Kumar, is related to Pranav Singh, a disqualified Congress lawmaker who defected to the BJP during the recent political crisis.
Police said mobile phone and internet services were blocked to prevent spread of rumours.