ADILABAD: A 500-strong mob resorted to heavy stone pelting outside the Utnoor police station on Saturday alleging police inaction against blasphemous remarks posted on WhatsApp against a particular religion. Ten people, including the superintendent of police, his deputy and two other police officers, were injured in the incident.
The incident took a communal turn when another group from the other community also turned up at the police station. Clashes broke out between the two groups forcing police personnel to resort to baton charge and lobbing teargas shells to bring the situation under control. The other group Section 144 was imposed in the soon after.
According to police personnel, the trouble began when a resident of Ameenpura Colony in the town uploaded an audio clip with derogatory remarks against another religion on social media and WhatsApp groups on Saturday night. Activists of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal lodged a complaint at the Utnoor police station that night.
Later in the night, people from a particular community started setting afire roadside property, protesting the delay in arresting the accused. By Sunday morning, a mob of around 500 people, led by leaders of both VHP and Bajrang Dal, gathered outside the police station and staged protests.
Adilabad SP M Srinivas, along with DSP A Laxminarayana visited the police station. They were injured in the stone pelting that followed the protests.
Special forces from Mancherial, Nirmal and Kumrambheem districts were deployed in the town
15 check-posts have been set up
SP calls for meetings with heads of both the communities to restore peace
5 cases booked against both the groups in connection with damaging shops and pelting stones
Police launches manhunt for the accused, who is at large
Last month, a person from Adilabad was arrested for posting derogatory remarks against the Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Utnoor unrest: Police resort to lathicharge
Utnoor, known for peace and tranquility because of the large number of tribals living there, for the first time in recent memory witnessed stone pelting and arson. The police had to resort to baton charge to disperse the mob which was still protesting at the police station. During the incident, protesters raised anti-police slogans and also pelted stones at shops in the vicinity.
Then, people belonging to a particular community also gathered in large numbers near the police station and began hurling stones at another group. As mobs from the two communities were in a direct fight against each other, police had to repeatedly resort to baton charge and lobbing of tear gas shells to disperse them.
Police imposed section 144 in order to restore normalcy.
District collector Buddha Prakash M Jyoti visited the place and inquired about the incident. Later, Karimnagar Range Deputy inspector general (DIG) C Ravi Varma visited Utnoor and enquired about the situation.