Communal tension erupts in Bhopal over offering of prayers, heavy police force deployed

Incident took place after evening namaz, when one group pelted stones on the other group, prompting the cops to use force against the unruly mob indulging in violence. 

Published: 31st May 2017 05:24 AM  |   Last Updated: 31st May 2017 06:36 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

BHOPAL: A massive police security cover has been thrown in multiple localities of old Bhopal after communal tension reportedly erupted outside the Hamidia Hospital campus on Tuesday evening. 
Massive police force has been deployed in Jumerati, Peer Gate, Chowki Imambara and other old areas of the state capital following violence between two groups of separate communities over offering of rituals at a shrine outside the hospital gate. 

The incident took place after evening namaz, when one group pelted stones on the other group, prompting the cops to use force against the unruly mob indulging in violence. 

The other group later retaliated by pelting stones identically again forcing the police to use force. Over six persons were reportedly hurt in the violence. 

Several vehicles, including a Dial 100 police vehicle was damaged as unruly mob set many of the vehicles afire. 

All senior officials,  including Bhopal DIG Raman Singh Sikarwar and collector Nishant Varbade were at the spot when reports last came in. 

According to key sources in state police companies of para military force are likely to arrive before dawn to ensure peaceful early morning namaz in Ramzan. 

The administration was mulling clamping prohibitory orders in some localities till midnight.

Senior police officials, including IG Bhopal Yogesh Chaudhary,  however,  claimed situation was now normal and under control. 

The incident is the continuation of tussle between the two groups since two days over offering prayers at a place in the hospital premises, where one of the groups claims to have found out an old mosque. 

The group was offering namaz at the newly found mosque inside the hospital campus since Monday, which was opposed by the other group.  

In response to it, the other group had announced holding ritual at a temple outside the hospital gate, but the local administration had denied them permission owing to security reasons in the communally sensitive area. 

Despite being denied permission by authorities, the men had gathered for the prayers at the temple.

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