Communal tension in Ballia

Tension gripped the Ratsar township in the district as members of two communities clashed over a minor issue, the police said today.

The trouble had started on Tuesday night when one Arvind Rajbhar suffered minor injuries after his bicycle was hit by a motorcycle.

District Magistrate Surendra Vikram said that one community targeted the houses and shops of the other after rumours surfaced yesterday that Rajbhar’s condition was critical.

The mob ransacked carts of fruit and vegetable vendors torched two shops in the area. However, swift action by the police helped in dispersing the violent mob. At least 16 trouble-mongers were nabbed from the spot.

According to reports, one Arvind Rajbhar was passing through the Muslim-dominated locality of Ratsar township on Tuesday when a motorcycle-borne man Intekhab Alam hit his bicycle.

Arvind suffered head injuries in the accident and was rushed to a local hospital.

Police arrested Alam after Arvind’s family filed an FIR against him.

When condition of Arvind deteriorated, his family members rushed him to district hospital where doctors allegedly denied admitting him and asked to take him to some major centre for proper treatment.

Angered over this, his family returned to Ratsar and informed their neighbours about Arvind’s condition.

Within few minutes hundreds of youths attacked the locality.

Senior police and administrative officials reached the spot to take stock of the situation.

The station incharge of Gadwar police station was also suspended after the incident, SP Anil Kumar said today.

The PAC and police have been deployed in strength in the area and prohibitory orders under section 144 have been promulgated, he said

The situation was now under control, he added.