Communal tension gripped Uttar Pradesh’s Bareilly town on Friday afternoon after Hindus and Muslims clashed over the use of loudspeakers for ‘azaan’ or call for namaz in a mosque.
A group of men from the Hindu community entered into an argument with the Muslims at the mosque in Hafizganj area.
The situation took a violent turn after both groups indulged in stone-pelting and firing, sources said. At least 20 people were injured in the clash.
“The first team was dispatched from the local police station as soon as we came to know about the incident. Later, additional forces were sent to control the situation,” superintendent of police (rural) Yamuna Prasad said.
Over 300 men from both the sides indulged in violence and fled the spot when additional police force reached there. Reports of clashes from neighbouring areas continued to pour in till late in the evening.
Local police, who were in Shahjahanpur to ensure security arrangements ahead of Union home minister Rajnath Singh’s visit, were called back by the evening to ensure law and order.
Police have started the process of identifying and arresting those who were involved in the clash. “Our teams are investigating the matter and those who indulged in violence will soon be behind bars,” the SP said.
Sources claimed that tension was simmering in the area since last week after some Hindus opposed the use of loudspeakers for ‘azaan’. Though the situation was defused after the intervention of local police but the issue remained unsolved.