The police and members of several Hindu outfits clashed late on Wednesday night at a temple in Modinagar, during a protest against the gangrape of a woman in Meerut.
The incident occurred when a puja was organized at the temple, where several inflammatory speeches were allegedly made. Most villagers of the surrounding areas are of the same caste as the victim.
When the police heard about the puja, they began recording the proceedings.
Irked by the presence of recording equipment at the site, the villagers turned on the police leading to clashes.
“There was heavy stone pelting and the crowd thrashed several officers. The hate speeches were planned and the accused had arrived in at least 8-10 vehicles,” said superintendent of police, Jagdish Sharma.
The police called in reinforcements from the surrounding areas along with two quick reaction teams. Top officials rushed to the spot to ensure the row did not escalate.
Taking action against the rioters, the police lodged an FIR under several sections of the Indian Penal Code and under provisions of the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act.
While three persons have been arrested, the FIR also names 11 other people as well as nearly 20 unidentified people.