GUWAHATI: An indefinite curfew was clamped in parts of Assam’s Sonitpur district following an incident of communal violence on Wednesday night.
The violence broke out during a bike rally taken out to celebrate the foundation stone-laying ceremony of Rama temple at Ayodhya.
The mobs torched each other’s two-wheelers and targeted the vehicle of District Magistrate Manvendra Pratap Singh by pelting stones at it when the IAS officer was trying to placate them. The police restored normalcy by using batons and firing in the air.
Official sources said additional forces had been deployed to the trouble-torn areas falling under Thelamara and Dhekiajuli police stations where curfew was clamped.
The DM said five-six people were injured in the incident while two people arrested. Narrating the incident, he said 50 odd bikers had gone to a temple in an area where people belonging to one community is in a large majority.
“I was told there was a scuffle between the bikers and locals. One reason could be that the bikers were playing music loudly. During the violence, vehicles belonging to both sides were torched,” Singh said.
He said the mobs pelted stones at his vehicle and the escort vehicles. During the unrest, the police rescued some people held captive. The DM said the bikers had not obtained permission for the rally. He said the situation was under control.
Meanwhile, the North-East Minorities Students’ Union condemned the incident. It wondered as to how the members of Bajrang Dal, Rama Sena, and other groups could take out the rally when various restrictions had been put in place due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The students’ body demanded a high-level probe into the incident and action as per the law against the guilty.