Bhopal: Communal tension erupted in the old city area here after members of two communities came in a face-off situation and pelted stones at each other on Tuesday evening near Hamidia Hospital. The mob from both the sides dispersed after police lathi-charged them to avoid further tension and imposed Section 144 to stop people from gathering.
The tension started near a temple situated near the main gate of Hamidia Hospital where members of one community had gathered along with the members of a saffron outfit on Tuesday at around 7.30 pm. They wanted to perform a maha-arti at the temple at a time when the members of the other community had gathered to offer prayers at an old mosque discovered a few days ago on the Hamidia Hospital campus. The police, who were already present at the location after sensing possible tension, asked the members not to perform the maha-arti. The community members along with the saffron outfit members then tried to go near the mosque where the other community members were offering prayers.
The police in order to avoid a clash intervened, after which they pelted stones at the other community members at the mosque. Members of the other community also pelted stones in retaliation. Soon police lathi-charged both the communities after which both the sides got dispersed only to start gathering again later. A few vehicles were also damaged by the mob among which some also threw petrol-bombs in an attempt to torch the vehicles parked at Shahjanabad, Zumeirati, Iamambada and other areas. Heavy police force was deployed soon at the location to control the situation. The district magistrate, DIG, SP and other police officials also rushed to the location. Late at night some incidents of torching of vehicles were reported in areas of Chowki Imambada and Bhopal Talkies.
Till the news was being written, tension was prevailing with police force still in deployment in the area.