Seven policemen were injured when a mob went on a stone-pelting spree in Deopur area of Dhule district, 600km from Mumbai, on Thursday night, after rumours spread that objectionable content about a minority community had been posted on Facebook.
The situation had calmed down by Friday but the state reserve police force was put on standby to avoid further violence. Police have arrested 27 people, for rioting and damaging public property.
Dhule SP Akhilesh Kumar told HT that the FB post was old and the incident took place because of a rumour and instigation on an internet-based messenger service.
“The rioters targeted state transport buses and also robbed Rs 8,000 from a bus conductor,” officials said. They added that messages and inflammatory pictures were sent out on the messenger service, which added to the tension.
The incident comes just two weeks after a techie was murdered in Pune over morphed pictures of Shivaji and Bal Thackeray.
Dhule is a communally sensitive district. In January 2013, six people were killed and nearly 200 were injured in a communal clash.