About 10 vehicles were torched and more than 20 people wounded in mob violence in Uttarakhand’s Landahura town near the pilgrim destination of Haridwar on Wednesday noon.
Garhwal region inspector general of police Sanjay Gunjyal said prohibitory orders have been clamped in the town and forces deployed to maintain peace in the communally sensitive town.
“We have detained some people and are trying every bit to maintain law and order,” he said.
Reports said trouble broke out after a relative of the local legislator, Kunwar Pranav Singh Champion, evacuated a Muslim tenant from a house in a marketplace where he ran a shop.
The landlord threw out the tenant’s belongings on to the road and within minutes hundreds of people gathered and went on a rampage, eyewitnesses said.
The mob threw stones on policemen and torched vehicles close to a police post. People were wounded in clashes as police baton-charged to control the mob.
Champion, who revolted against the Congress and joined the BJP on May 10, alleged that the mob entered his house and torched some vehicles. “My life is under threat and I demand a CBI inquiry into the incident,” said the politician who was in hill station Mussoorie at the time of the incident.
Champion, who was disqualified from the assembly along with eight other dissident Congress lawmakers for siding with the BJP, blamed chief minister Harish Rawat for Wednesday’s violence.
The ruling Congress dismissed the allegations. “Champion knows what happened and is making baseless allegations now,” said Surendra Kumar, the spokesperson for Rawat.
The chief minister requested residents of Landhaura to maintain “harmony and peace”.