Communal tension prevailed in the Gaharpur and Haribhanpur villages of Varanasi district on Wednesday, after a Muslim mourner was allegedly lynched in a fallout over a burial dispute.
The killing of the 22-year-old youth led to stone pelting by two groups, in which six people were injured and the windscreens of several vehicles smashed.
Trouble began after a former village head Vijay Singh and his supporters objected to a grave being dug for the burial of a woman named Nasirun. Vijay Singh claimed ownership of the graveyard land.
Subdivisional magistrate (SDM) Tribhuvan Ram and Kapsethi station officer Akhilesh Kumar Mishra reached the spot along with a police team and ordered measurement of the graveyard land. The SDM pacified both sides and said the body would be buried in the graveyard. He asked the village head to go home.
Meanwhile, one Kaju (22) alias Asraf, a mourner and resident of Haribhanpur, was beaten to death on his way to the local market from the graveyard. As news of his death spread, the mourners put up a road block with two bodies, that of Kaju and Nasirun.
The blockade was lifted after the officials assured the locals of strict action against those involved in the incident and compensation to the relatives of Kaju. The body of the youth was sent for post-mortem thereafter. The woman’s body was buried in the graveyard.
The situation was tense but under control, police sources said.
“Heavy police force has been deployed in the village as a preventive measure. Teams have been constituted to identify those involved in the violence. Soon, they will be arrested,” senior superintendent of police Akash Kulhary said.
Three people were taken into custody and were being interrogated, police sources added.
The district magistrate and the SSP were camping in Gaharpur, according to latest reports.