Nine persons were injured, with most of them being passersby, after unidentified miscreants from Imlipura area in Khandwa beat them up and pelted stones at them on Thursday afternoon. They also set three motorcycles on fire.
According to police, trouble started when two groups belonging to the same community started fighting under suspicion that one group had complained to the police against them.
For the last two days, police had seized about 283 cattle from the area, as they had been kept in inhuman conditions. Blaming each other for the police action, the groups fought each other at first and started attacking passers-by.
Madan Mohan, an eye-witness, said at around 4 pm when he was going back to Rajur, his village, some people stopped him at Imlipura, beat him up and snatched his motorcycle key.
Imroz Qureshi, a resident of Pardeshipura at the spot, said that at the beginning, only a few persons were involved in the clash. Later, others joined in and beat up passersby, including a journalist.
All the shops in the area downed their shutters as tension increased.
Khandwa district superintendent of police MS Sikarwar said the situation was under control as additional force, including quick response force, had been deployed in the area.
SP Sikarwar said, “During preliminary investigation, initially two groups from the same community entered into the brawl claiming that other group informed police, which led to the cattle being seized by the police. Later, the violence spread and passers-by were also beaten and injured.” Sikarwar denied stone pelting in the area.
Meanwhile, police has launched a search operation in Imlipura and are looking for CCTV footage to identify the miscreants.
BJP MLA from Khandwa’s Harsud constituency, Vijay Shah later visited the victims at the hospital.