Armed mobs fought pitched battles with the police as a dispute over a piece of land took a communal overturn in Loni area on the outskirts of the capital on Thursday.
According to unconfirmed reports four people, including a woman, were wounded when police opened fire to disperse the mob. The situation was tense till late on Thursday as police reinforcements were rushed from Noida, Ghaziabad and Baghpat. Three policemen were also injured.
The area is very sensitive, the police said. In the coming day kanwarias would pass from Tila more, for which special arrangements are made every year.
Violent mobs, allegedly armed withcountry-made pistols, roamed the streets of Loni the whole of Thursday badly outnumbering the police. The dispute was over a piece of land, khasra number 550, in Rampark Extension, Khanna Nagar in Loni.
Sources said the land, which is near the Loni police post, belongs to the Loni Municipal Corporation. However, the land mafia, which has become a menace in the area, eyed the plot. “They, with support from some locals, tried to build a religious structure on the land. When the news of the construction reached the administration corporation officials reached the spot for a check. The team was accompanied by police officers. When their efforts in convincing the locals failed that the land belonged to the corporation they detained five people,” a senior police officer said.
The five, the officer said, were later released around 4 pm “However, workers from political party, who had by then come to know about the problem reached the spot and instigated them after, which a mob stopped traffic on the main road causing a huge traffic jam,” the officer said.
When police arrived at the spot, they were allegedly attacked with stones. The mob turned more violent burning vehicles on the road.