Curfew has been imposed in Khandwa from Wednesday midnight after incidents of violent protests and stone pelting triggered by a Facebook post that showed objectionable sketches next to the photo of a minority community's shrine refused to stop.
Police had to use teargas shells and fire in air to stop a stone pelting mob that had assembled on the streets of Khandwa till late in the night.
Khandwa SP Manoj Sharma confirmed that indefinite curfew has been imposed and Rapid Action Force has been deployed.
The district administration has ordered closure of schools and colleges in view of the prevailing tension. Indore divisional commissioner Sanjay Dubey and IG Vipin Maheshwari are camping in Khandwa.
An insurance company employee, Sushil Kumar Pundge, was stabbed to death while at least six people including a policeman were injured as stones were thrown during the protest late on Wednesday.
The tension started to build up in the city after a Facebook post, allegedly shared from the profile of Bharatiya Janata Party leader and Khandwa municipality president Amar Yadav, showed objectionable objects near a holy shrine. Yadav, however, denied his involvement, claiming a fake profile was created on the social media platform under his name.
At 8pm, a mob of 200 assembled at Imlipura and protested the post. It was followed by stone pelting and miscreants damaged shops and vehicles. The violence soon spread to other parts.
Khandwa has witnessed several communal flare-ups in the past — the most recent in December, 2013 after idols worshipped by a community were damaged by a group of people.