The industrial city of Nimbahera was tense on Thursday after Muslim youths allegedly assaulted some Hindus and smashed windscreens of vehicles following an argument over morphed pictures of the Kaaba circulated on WhatsApp.
The trouble began in Javad Darwaja, a Muslim-dominated neighbourhood, at 8.30 pm on Wednesday, when Muslim youths had a heated argument with some Hindus over the morphed pictures and communally sensitive comments posted on WhatsApp.
The situation went out of control when about a dozen Muslim youths riding motorcycles went to Indira Colony and Shri Ram Colony and pelted stones at houses and smashed windscreens of cars. The Muslims also clashed with Hindus and allegedly assaulted some persons, police said.
Muslim youths also shouted slogans in Moti Bazar and Sadar Bazar on Wednesday night, prompting shopkeepers to shut their outlets. Police used batons to disperse the youths.
District Collector Ved Prakash imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 of CrPC late on Wednesday night. All markets in the city, excluding several cement factories and marble units, were closed on Thursday.
The Vishva Hindu Parishad, Bajrang Dal and other Hindu groups called a bandh to protest the incidents. Leaders of the BJP and other organisations went to the markets and asked people to remain calm and cooperate with police to control the situation.
Circle Officer Shobhagya Singh told HT: “Police nabbed five persons on Thursday for alleged involvement in the clash and for disturbing communal harmony.” Police clubbed five complaints about damaged cars in an FIR at Nimbahera Sadar Thana.
“The situation is fully under control. Heavy police forces were deployed to control the mob that pelted stones in Indira Colony and Shri Ram Colony,” Singh said.
SP Prasanna Khamesra said the issue had been sorted out. “No casualty was reported to police. A peace committee meeting was held in the presence of Collector Ved Prakash and all party leaders and municipal councillors were called to the police station to restore communal harmony,” he said.