Crowds of protesters took to the streets of Mawana on Friday after the bullet-riddled body of a councillor was found near a graveyard, just as dust settled on clashes between two communities over an incident of molestation in Muzaffarnagar a day earlier.
An angry mob shouted slogans as they went on a rampage, damaging vehicles including an ambulance and a superintendent’s vehicle, and burning down the gate of cinema hall.
The protesters were demanding the arrest of those who killed the councillor, 45-year-old Zahid, and blocked traffic on the Meerut-Mawan road for over three hours, superintendent (rural) Praveen Ranjan said.
“The unruly crowed damaged my vehicle and an ambulance while efforts were made to send the body for postmortem,” Ranjan said.
“The situation is under control, (but) heavy force has been deployed to prevent any possible clashes between Hindus and Muslims,” said a police officer. A few miscreants had allegedly thrown stones at houses of another community, attempting to spark communal tensions.
Zahid, who was also the caretaker of the graveyard, had attended a peace committee meeting in Mawana police station earlier on Friday, with some influential people of the town.
As Zahid’s family and other people intensified their protests for justice, additional district magistrate Dinesh Chandra reached to the spot with more personnel to disperse agitators. However, the situation escalated with the mob pelting stones. Police finally managed to send the body for post mortem and control the situation.