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Devotees, cops clash at Bhojshala

People had gathered at temple complex on the occasion of Basant Panchami.

india Updated: Feb 03, 2006 21:26 IST

Curfew was imposed for a brief period on Friday around the Bhojshala shrine in Dhar after police lobbed teargas shells and resorted to baton charge on a violent crowd of devouts.

The devouts had gathered to offer prayers in the disputed structure claimed by both Hindus and Muslims.

Several people including Deputy Inspector General of Police Pramod Phalnikar and Constable Manoj Saini were injured in the violence, officials said.

The trouble started when around 300-400 members of minority community were prevented from approaching the protected archaeological monument by those participating in Basant Panchmi celebrations at Lakkadpeetha in the complex, they said.

Police fired tear gas shells and resorted to baton charge to control the sitution.

Curfew was imposed in Lakkadpeetha area at 1.45 pm after devotees, angered by action to clear Bhojshala for Friday prayers between 1 pm and 3 pm, pelted stones, the officials said.

Around 15 Muslims offered prayers at a makeshift arrangement atop the structure during the curfew, which was lifted by around 3.15 pm, they added.

The Hindu devotees, who raised slogans protesting the police action, were allowed to enter the Bhojshala to continue with the celebrations after the minority community members were safely escorted out amidst tight security, sources said.

First Published: Feb 03, 2006 12:48 IST