PATNA: After two incidents of violence between groups of people belonging to different communities over the past two days, tension prevailed in Bihar's Muslim-dominated Kishanganj district on Wednesday and ten people were taken into custody.
Kishanganj SP Kumar Ashish said exchanges on the social media were being strictly monitored and that the administration is taking all care to prevent the flare-ups from turning into a major communal incident.
"Efforts were made by some anti-social elements to disturb communal amity at two places, but the situation was swiftly brought under control at both the places. Magistrates and policemen, including RAF (Rapid Action Force) jawans, deployed at sensitive sites are keeping a vigil, and normalcy is returning," said Ashish to The New Indian Express.
A group of men had allegedly tried to damage the idol at a temple of Goddess Kali at Haleem Chwok in Khagra area on Tuesday morning. Upon learning of this, hundreds of people gathered at the temple and demanded action against the culprits. The protesters also burnt tyres on National Highway 31 and blocked the road for hours. Police had a hard time dispersing the crowd.
A clash between two communities was reported in Himmatnagar area under Kochadhaman police station on Monday evening. Police said the clash first erupted over a song being played at a wedding party. As many as ten people, including two women, were injured in the clash. It is unclear if this clash had a link to the incident on Tuesday morning. The ten injured people being treated at a local hospital were taken into custody as they were named in an FIR registered after the clash.
"A probe into the incident is on, and more arrests are possible," said the SP. Muslims comprise about 78 per cent of the population in Kishanganj, making it Bihar's only district and Lok Sabha constituency where Muslims outnumber Hindus. Located close to the Bangladesh border, Kishanganj is also India's largest Muslim-populated area after the Kashmir Valley and Lakshadweep. In a communal flare-up in Kishanganj in October last, over a dozen people were injured.
Communal violence had erupted in the district in October 2014 and curfew was imposed following rumours that the carcass of a cow was found near a temple. Communal clashes were reported in eight districts of Bihar during Ram Navmi celebrations earlier this year, leaving dozens of people injured. A total of 15 cases were registered and 214 people were arrested.