LUCKNOW: Tension gripped the Maudaha town of Uttar Pradesh’s Hamirpur district, 150 km from the state capital, after clashes broke out between police and Kans Mela devotees who were insisting on taking out a procession through a Muslim-dominated area instead of the designated route.
Police personnel had already been deployed in huge numbers as the administration apprehended trouble. When they tried to stop the procession, the devotees resorted to heavy stone pelting late Monday night.
According to sources in the police headquarters, about 10 policemen, including an additional superintendent of police, a circle officer and two station officers were injured in the clashes.
An FIR was lodged against over 200 unidentified people and 14 trouble-makers have been arrested so far. A heavy police contingent has been deployed in the area to maintain law and order.
Local sources claimed the district magistrate and the SP also sustained injuries. The mob vandalised the police vehicles.
The incident which triggered the clashes took place near Devi Chauraha in Maudaha. The organisers of the procession announced that they would pass through Imambara Road. Getting a wind of their plan, district administration officials reached the spot and tried to convince the devotees to stick to designated route, but they refused and there was a stand-off. BJP MP Pushpendra Singh Chandel had reportedly asked the administration to allow the procession to pass through Imambara Road.
On getting information about the trouble, state DGP O P Singh rushed N N Sawant, Additional Director General (Allahabad zone), to the troubled area and issued orders to take strict action against the troublemakers.
Local police sources said nine police teams were constituted to round up those had been booked.