Communal clashes erupt in Kanpur during Tazia procession, 30 injured
Communal clashes at two places in Kanpur left nearly 30 people, including five policemen, injured while nearly 10 vehicles and four shops were either set afire or ransacked.
The situation in Param Purwa was partially under control whereas in Rawatpur, people of the two communities were reportedly firing at each other besides fighting a pitched battle with the cops. The situation is expected to be brought under control soon.
Trouble began when a Tazia procession — commemorating the death of Imam Hussein ibn Ali, the grandson of prophet Muhammad — took a different route instead of the permitted one.
It was supposed to take a U-turn from Jhandewala crossing but went straight through a pocket where another procession for Hindu goddess Durga’s idol immersion was being taken.
Tempers flared quickly and the two sides clashed, pelting stones at each other. Anti-social elements torched a police vehicle, ransacked a police outpost and shops and set afire five two-wheelers in the area.
Police fired tear gas shells to disperse the mob but were attacked with stones and bricks, leaving them injured.
In Rawatpur, the organisers of Ram Baraat refused to allow the Tazia procession on Saturday night.
As the issue was being resolved on Sunday morning, bricks were thrown from a temple on police teams involved in negotiations. Police then resorted to baton charge on the crowd.
SP (south) Ashok Verma and four other policemen were injured in Parampurwa while SP (west) Gaurav Grover was hit by bricks in Rawatpur.
Officials admitted to firing in the air at both the places to control the situation.
ADG (law and order) Anand Kumar said extra police force, including two companies Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) and one company Rapid Action Force (RAF), was rushed to assist the Kanpur administration in maintaining law and order. The situation was under control, he said.
Senior police officers rushed to the spot and brought the situation under control. The cops detained a few persons on the charge of rioting, he added.
SSP Sonia Singh said trouble-makers were being identified through video footage and tough action would be taken.
According to sources, the local intelligence unit had warned the Kanpur police about possibility of communal clash in the city. It had mentioned that people in Param Purwa were stacking bricks and other projectiles.
Two police officers, Kalyanpur circle officer Rajnish Verma, Kalyanpur SHO B P Singh, were suspended for negligence in their response to the clashes.
The action was taken on the report of the IG, Kanpur Range, Alok Singh.
A magisterial inquiry has been ordered into the incident and action will be taken on the basis of a report submitted by the ADM, district magistrate Surendra Singh said, adding that National Security Act (NSA) will be slapped on trouble-makers.
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