Police arrested six people following three deaths in clashes over an incidence of eve teasing in Bijnor district on Friday.
The district administration blocked internet access in the district, except for two hours in the evening, to prevent the tense situation from escalating after three Muslims were killed in the violence that broke out in Peda village of Kotwali area, Bijnor.
“We gave only two hours relaxation for using internet,” said Jagat Ram Tripathi, district magistrate of Bijnor, adding the move was aimed at preventing provocative material being circulated on social media.
Seven companies of the Uttar Pradesh Provincial Armed Constabulary and two companies of the Rapid Action Force were also deployed around the village to maintain peace.
Tripathi confirmed the six arrests and said a licensed rifle and two country-made pistols were recovered during search operations.
An FIR has been filed against a Sansar Singh and 28 others in Kotwali for instigating the violence that also left 12 people injured. They had sustained bullet and stone injuries during clashes.
Chief minister Akhilesh Yadav sanctioned an ex gratia of Rs 20 lakh for each of the deceased’s families.
Meanwhile political and religious leaders made their way to the village to take stock of the situation.
BJP MP Yashwant Singh, MLA Lokendra Chauhan and district officials called for action against those who targeted Hindus. Maulana Arshad Madni, president of Jamiat-E-Ulema Hind, met families of victims, and said stern action needed to taken against the perpetrators. A social activist from Purkaji, Rehana Adeeb, alleged the incident was “pre-planned” and that the rioters were attempting to create another Muzaffarnagar-like situation. The 2013 Hindu-Muslim clashes in Muzaffarnagar saw more than 60 people die and required the army to be deployed to restore order.