Lucknow: Six persons were injured and several vehicles were damaged in stone pelting during a clash over ownership of a disputed land near a mosque in Varanasi district on Sunday night.
The clash broke out after one person, whose identity was not revealed by the police, hitched a cow on the land in Lullapur locality in Sigra. The person had earlier constructed a small hut there, claiming ownership of the vacant plot in the Sigra area.
The confrontation began when a large number of people from the minority community went to object at the alleged encroachment attempt and claimed that the land belonged to the mosque.
The person, belonging to the other community, called in his supporters and this led to a clash between the two groups.
Varanasi SSP R.K. Bharadwaj told reporters that the dispute over the land that is located adjacent to a mosque is pending in court and a local lawyer used to keep his cattle on the plot.
“On Sunday, he was whitewashing the boundary wall of same land when someone spread the rumour that the land is being encroached upon,” the SSP said.
The heated argument between the groups led to stone pelting and heavy brick batting which left six persons injured. All of them have been admitted to a hospital.
The situation turned more volatile when some miscreants set the hut on the disputed land on fire. The police resorted to cane charge and used teargas to disperse the stone pelters.
Senior administrative and police officials also rushed to the spot to ensure there was no further flare up.
A large contingent of police has been deployed in the area to maintain peace in the area. The officials said on Monday that the situation was under control while police were combing the area to arrest the assailants.
District magistrate Yogeshwar Ram Misra said that a close vigil was being maintained on the situation in view of the rush of devotees in Varanasi during the ongoing month of Shravan.