Tension prevailed in Khandwa and Ujjain after violence between two communities rocked the two cities and led to clamping of prohibitory orders.
Police force deployed in Chippa Colony in Khandwa. (Sunil Kerhalkar/HT photo)
Curfew has been imposed in Khandwa since Wednesday midnight after incidents of violent protests and stone pelting triggered by a Facebook post that showed objectionable sketches next to the photo of a minority community's shrine refused to stop.
Police had to use teargas shells and fire in air to stop a stone pelting mob that had assembled on the streets of Khandwa on Wednesday night.
Khandwa SP Manoj Sharma confirmed that indefinite curfew has been imposed and battalions of Rapid Action Force (RAF) and Quick Response Force (QRF) have been deployed to prevent any untoward incident.
Khandwa district administration ordered closure of schools and colleges in view of the prevailing tension. Indore divisional commissioner Sanjay Dubey and IG Vipin Maheshwari are camping in Khandwa.
Director General of Police (DGP) Nandan Dubey said a general alert has been sounded in Madhya Pradesh in view of the festivals. "The situation in Khandwa and Ujjain are under control," he said.
Khandwa SP, Sharma said the RAF and QRF held a flag march in every part of the city and police have been deployed at every possible place. Police have also launched a search operation to flush out miscreants.
No arrests were made till Thursday evening as police tried to locate the person who posted the objectionable item on the Facebook profile of Bharatiya Janata Party leader and Khandwa municipality president Amar Yadav. Yadav, however, denied his involvement, claiming a fake profile was created on the social media platform under his name.
An insurance company employee, Sushil Kumar Pundge, was stabbed to death in Khandwa while at least six people including a policeman were injured as stones were pelted during the protest on Wednesday.
In Ujjain, Section 144 was imposed when two communities at Indira Nagar area confronted each other on Thursday over some religious sites in the area. The situation turned worse when one of them resorted to stone pelting while other the group took out swords and lathis. Being the holy month of Sawan, where lakhs of devotees visit Mahakal temple every day, the administration immediately imposed prohibitory orders and deployed police force in large numbers. The administration ordered closure of all schools and colleges.