Communal tension gripped parts of western UP on Saturday as four people, including 3 belonging to a single family, in UP's Bijnor district, were killed and over a dozen injured in clashes between members of two communities after a schoolgirl was harassed on Friday.
The incident has brought back horrific memories of the murder of one Akhlaq in UP's Dadri about a year back as well as the Muzaffarnagar riots before that. This time too members of a Muslim family have been murdered and people of the community are seething in anger over the alleged partial treatment of media and government against them.
Meanwhile Internet services have been suspended in Bijnor till September 19.
Police say that the violence erupted after a schoolgirl was harassed by some youths in Bijnor's Pedda village. The girl and the accused belong to different communities, which led to tension in the area. As the news spread, people from girl's side gathered to stage protest.
Soon, there were groups taking positions on both sides. The incident took the form of a communal clash thereafter.
People on both sides started pelting stones and the situation soon turned ugly. Guns were brought in and shots were fired at one another. One youth died on the spot while two others, including a child, succumbed to their injuries at a hospital. Later, one more person died taking the death toll to four.
Three of the four people killed are from the girl's family. More than a dozen people were injured in the clash. They were admitted to a nearby hospital.
Meanwhile Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav sent state home secretary Mani Prasad Mishra and additional director general (law and order) Daljeet Singh Chaudhary to the spot and announced Rs 20 lakh each compensation for the next of the victims' kin.
Seven companies of the PAC and additional police forces have been deployed in the area.