Clashes mar Muharram processions in four districts, SP MLA hurt

Issues related to Muharram processions led to clashes between groups of different communities and sects in Moradabad, Sant Ravidas Nagar (Bhadohi), Kushinagar and Varanasi districts on Sunday. The police had a tough time controlling the situation, particularly in Bhadohi, where Samajwadi Party MLA from Bhadohi Zahid Jamal Beig was injured.

An incident of brick-batting, leading to cane-charge by the police, took place in Sant Ravidas Nagar district on Monday too. The processions, which were stopped yesterday following trouble, were being taken out today when the youths in one of the processions indulged in brick-batting, said Varanasi zone IG Gopal Lal Meena.

The police said the disturbance occurred at Daropur Gopla locality in Bhadohi police station area on Sunday evening, when a group of locals belonging to another community and led by Samajwadi Party worker Panna Lal Yadav stopped a procession. They objected saying that the procession was being taking out from a wrong route.

People from both communities gathered at the place and had a heated exchange. Local MLA Beig arrived and tried to intervene, but the mob from both the communities started brick-batting. The troublemakers fired in the air too, causing panic in the area.

The policemen deployed with the procession could not control the mob, as they were outnumbered.

District Magistrate Amrit Tripathi and Superintendent of Police A K Shukla, who were looking after the processions in Bhadohi market, rushed to the place along with Rapid Action Force and PAC and cane-charged the rioters. The police later fired teargas to disperse the mob. The MLA, policemen and over a dozen persons from both groups were injured in the violence.

The SP said they had stopped 37 processions following the violence last night.

On Monday, the police said that while the last procession was on its way through a railway crossing, the youths in the procession started throwing stones at Kashi Vishwanath train, which had taken a halt at the nearby station. As additional police force arrived, they stoned the police.

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