Saharanpur: Two persons were killed today and at least 19 others, including policemen, injured as violent clashes broke out between two communities over a land dispute in this western Uttar Pradesh district with mobs indulging in brick batting and arson, prompting authorities to clamp curfew.
“Harish Kochar, a traders’ leader, and an unidentified person have been killed in the clashes,” Commissioner, Saharanpur, Tanveer Zafar Ali said.
Five policemen, city magistrate, and 13 others were injured. A constable Shensar Pal was stated to be in a serious condition in Chandigarh PGI after suffering a bullet injury.
Police used force and fired rubber bullets to control the situation as mobs went on rampage setting several shops afire.
Ali said prohibitory orders under section 144 of CrPC have been invoked in the district and curfew has been clamped in six areas.
According to reports, senior administrative and police officials were rushed to the spot to pacify the rival groups.
DIG STF Deepak Ratan and Bhuvnesh Kumar, who was commissioner of Saharanpur earlier, have been rushed from Lucknow by helicopter to control the situation, sources said.
Besides, 18 companies of additional force including eight PAC, six CRPF ,two RAF and two ITBP have been deployed in the troubled areas, sources said.
“As per the information received so far there was a dispute over land between two communities which escalated this morning,” Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Mukul Goel told PTI.
Trouble began when members of one community started construction work at the site in Kutubsher area in the wee hours this morning, which was objected to by the other group.
Both the sides indulged in heavy brick batting, arson and opened fire and there were reports of several shops being gutted in the clash, police said.
Even as curfew has been clamped, sporadic incidents of clashes were reported.
The ADG said senior officers were camping in the area.
Saharanpur is nearly 170 km from national capital Delhi and 560 km from state capital Lucknow.