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Internet services suspended in UP’s Shahjahanpur after clashes between two communities

According to police, tension erupted when a Sikh ‘sewadar’ (volunteer) at Guru Nanak Dev Gurudwara in Banda area allegedly hit a Hindu girl on Saturday afternoon.

india Updated: Aug 27, 2018 15:38 IST
shahjahanpur,communal clashes in shahjahanpur,shahjahanpur district
Policemen stand guard a street in Banda town of Shahjahanpur after tension on Saturday, Aug 25, 2018. (PTI)

Internet services were suspended in Shahjahanpur district of Uttar Pradesh on Monday after a clash broke out between two communities outside a gurudwara on Saturday, officials said.

At least 80 identified and over 200 unidentified people have been booked by the police for rioting and damaging public property.

District magistrate, Shahjahanpur, Amrit Tripathi said, “There were reports of circulation of inflammatory content on social media platforms after which internet services were suspended to check any untoward incident.”

“We have identified people from both the sides who were found to be involved in violence. The administration will recommend action against them under the NSA (National Security Act),” the DM said.

He said the situation was peaceful and no report of fresh violence had been received in the last 24 hours.

The DM and other district administration officials are camping in Banda area of the district where tension first erupted on Saturday.

Located about 30 km north of the district headquarters, Banda has considerable Sikh population.

According to police, tension erupted when a Sikh ‘sewadar’ (volunteer) at Guru Nanak Dev Gurudwara in Banda area allegedly hit a Hindu girl on Saturday afternoon.

In his complaint to the police, the girl’s father alleged that the volunteer attacked his daughter when she resisted inappropriate advances of the accused.

A clash took place between Sikhs and Hindus and the situation escalated further when reports of clashes between the two communities started pouring in from different parts of Banda area.

Over 30 people, including police personnel, were injured in clashes. Half-a-dozen shops, public property and private vehicles were damaged in the violence.

Following the violence, the district administration declared prohibitory orders and deployed heavy police force in the area.

Superintendent of police (SP), Shahajahanpur, S Channappa said: “Force from four police stations, four battalions of PAC and two battalions of paramilitary forces have been deployed in the area. We have imposed restrictions on the movement of people in and out of Banda. We are closely monitoring the situation.”

He said three FIRs were lodged on complaints by the girl’s father, a resident of Banda, Rajesh Jain and the police, respectively.

In the FIR, at least 300 people have been charged with destroying public property and inciting violence.

First Published: Aug 27, 2018 15:36 IST