Attempt to grab mosque land sparks communal tension in Varanasi

VARANASI: Communal tension erupted over ownership of a disputed land near a mosque in Sigra area of Narendra Modi’s constituency Varanasi on late Sunday night.

According to media reports, a well- known lawyer Mahendra Singh Mantu, who is close to a local BJP legislator allegedly tried to encroach a piece of land belonged to the mosque.

The lawyer reportedly hitched his three cows on the dispute plot. The confrontation began after the lawyer began erecting a boundary wall around the land.

Members from the minority community reached the spot and raised objections that the land meant for mosque is being encroached. They were shouting slogans to oppose the construction.

The argument turned into a clash when some fringe elements hurled stones at local Muslims.

Photo Courtesy: Patrika

Stone pelting started from both sides. Police resorted to lathicharge and used tear gas and pepper bombs to disperse the crowd. Six persons were injured and several vehicles damaged during the clash.

According to the Varanasi SSP R.K. Bharadwaj, the dispute over the land that is located adjacent to a mosque in Lullapura locality is pending in court, reported Deccan Chronicle.

Heavy police force was deployed in the incident area and Section 144 has been imposed in parts of Varanasi after a violent clash to maintain peace in the area.

Separate cases against 300 unidentified people and nine identified has been registered, according to Hindustan Times.