Tension continued in Uttar Pradesh's Meerut district with curfew being relaxed for only three hours on Thursday, a day after 15 people were injured when a verbal dispute between two groups escalated into large-scale vandalism and arson.
"After a meeting with the district administration, it has been decided to relax the curfew from 9 a.m. to 12 noon," Superintendent of Police (Meerut City) Rakesh Jolly told IANS over the phone.
Another review meeting between police and the district administration would be held in the evening to decide on further relaxation of curfew orders.
The trouble had started in Lisari Gate of Meerut, about 350 km from here, late Tuesday when some shopkeepers had allegedly manhandled the driver of a tractor-trolley carrying some Muslims to a religious procession.
"The driver was allegedly trying to park the vehicle in a prohibited area close to a railway crossing," Jolly had said earlier.
The violence soon spread to other localities, including Ghantaghar, Pir Tiraha and Bhumia Pul, where angry mobs targeted buses and police vehicles. At least six police motorcycles were set ablaze.
For security measures, heavy police deployment has been made in various parts of Meerut. "To prevent any untoward incident, four companies of PAC (Provincial Armed Constabulary) and six companies of the RAF (Rapid Action Force) have been deployed in the district along with other security personnel," said Jolly.