At least 10 persons were injured, two of them grievously, in communal violence at Akot, a small town in Akola district, some 300 kms from Nagpur in the eastern Maharashtra, prompting the authorities to impose curfew in the area on Sunday evening.
According to reports on Sunday night, trouble was sparked off when a group of people stopped a motorbike in which three persons were travelling and beat them up black and blue without any provocation. These three persons later went to the city and narrated the entire happening to their community people.
This led to an angry mob resorting to violence and soon tension spread through several parts of the city.
Over 25 houses were attacked in Hanuman Nagar, Gazi plot and Nav Durganagar, and unidentified miscreants set them afire. Violent groups later smashed several vehicles and pelted stones at the police, reports said.
During the clashes, some unidentified miscreants also attacked some houses and five cows were burnt alive, further provoking tension. The police force has been deployed in sensitive areas of the town and the situation was under control, claimed Sheikh Sultan, deputy superintendent of police (Dy SP) of Akola.
Police have recovered arms and weapons and taken about 25 persons in custody in this regard, the police officer further informed.
Police opened seven rounds of fire in the air at Gazi plot and Nav Durganagar when teargas shells and lathi charge proved ineffective to control the mob indulging in arson and stone pelting.
The collector of the district, Ravindra Thakre and the SP, Vivek Mishra visited the violence-hit areas and appealed to locals for communal harmony. Additional police forces were deployed in the city to maintain law and order, Sultan said.