The Faizabad police conducted flag marches in the sensitive localities of the city on Wednesday, a day after Hindus and Muslims came head-to-head over a dispute regarding Durga Puja pandals and playing of “inflammatory” songs.
“There was a tiff between the members of (the) two communities over installation of Durga Puja pandal in Beniganj locality. Some anti-social elements tried to flare up the tension but the police controlled the situation by removing the structure,” senior superintendent of police, Faizabad, Mohit Gupta told HT.
Members of the two communities reportedly faced-off in the Beniganj area over the issue on Tuesday, and a similar situation was witnessed in Laal Bagh area of the district a day before.
“A meeting of the members of both communities was held on Tuesday. We told the organisers that according to the festival guideline, no new practice could be started nor pandal installed at a new place,” Gupta said. “They agreed to remove the structure and normalcy was restored. The police have also registered FIR against the elements who were trying to disturb communal harmony and strict action will be taken against them.”
ADG (law and order) Daljit Singh Chawdhary said a state-wide alert has been sounded in view of Dussehra and Muharram festivals, and police superintendents of all 75 districts have been directed to organise round-the-clock patrolling and install pickets in the sensitive areas.
“Along with organising flag marches, patrolling has been intensified in the sensitive areas. The police have urged the people not to fall prey to rumours and alert the district administration if anti-social elements try to disturb communal harmony,” Gupta said.
The state government also sounded an alert following the Indian Army’s surgical strike on terror camps in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, and directed district administrations and police officers to remain vigilant and take adequate measures to maintain law and order, Chawdhary said.
Ayodhya’s twin city Faizabad has in the past too had major communal clashes: In 2012, two people were killed and more than a hundred shops and houses were torched when communities clashed during the Durga Puja immersion ceremony.
With inputs from PTI