12 arrested in Bhopal over communal clashes, internet services shut

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Bhopal, May 31 (IANS) Twelve persons were arrested and extra security forces deployed in the Madhya Pradesh capital on Wednesday, after communal clashes broke out in the city on Tuesday night that saw rival groups resort to stone pelting and arson over a religious dispute. Internet services have been shut to prevent rumours being spread through social media.

“The situation is under control now. Police has been deployed in the Peer Gate and other areas. Twelve persons have been arrested,” Raman Singh Sikarwar, Deputy Inspector General of Police, Bhopal, told IANS.

Trouble broke out after some religious vestiges were found during digging for construction within the Hamidia Hospital situated in Old Bhopal.

According to police, a religious group claimed the presence of the relics, which led to tension between the two religious groups. Both sides resorted to stone pelting and arson near Peer Gate late on Tuesday night.

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Local residents said that tension had been building up between the two groups from the past two days ever since the discovery of the “relics”.

The Tuesday night violence saw property damaged as well as vehicles set on fire.

“Some mischief makers were spreading rumours in order to excite people through social media platforms. Keeping this in mind the internet services have been stopped,” said police.

It was through the social media that appeals were made for people to gather around Hamidia Hospital on Tuesday, leading to violence.

The Rapid Action Force was called after the situation got worse. Police used lathi-charge and lobbed teargas to disperse the crowd. They also fired in the air. Some policemen were injured in the violence.

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Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said in a tweet that people disrupting the peace would be dealt with strictly.

Earlier, Singh had asked Bhopal resident to ignore rumours and help the authorities maintain peace.



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