Protest in Lucknow over Assam riots, curfew imposed in Allahabad
LUCKNOW: A mob tried to disturb communal harmony in Lucknow by indulging in violence and arson under the garb of agitation to protest violence against Muslims in Assam and Myanmar. Around 50 people dressed as Muslims, wearing skull caps and scarves, created ruckus in the crowded Hazratganj area violence soon after Friday prayer.
According to eye-witnesses, soon after the alvida namaz, which is offered on the last day of the holy month of Ramzan, a mob which reportedly came out of from a mosque in Wazirganj area marched in the form of procession till Buddha park before turning violent. The miscreants broke window panes of several vehicles and tried to set afire a few.
The mob also ransacked the Buddha park, forced closure of shops and attacked media-persons. The violent group also created ruckus and indulged in vandalism in the busy thoroughfare in Hazratganj area leading to traffic jams at several places. Panic-struck shop keepers downed their shutters and peole ran for shelter.
The drama continued for an hour The police initially remained mute spectator and allowed the mob to indulge in violence. It acted only after reporters were attacked. Heavy police was deployed at sensitive points across the city following intelligence reports that an attempt to vitiate communal amity could be made after the alvida namaz. The situation was brought under control by 5 pm.
The eye-witnesses also said that the mob was shouting slogans denouncing violence against Muslims in Assam and in Myanmar. Miscreants were dressed like Muslims but some were chewing paan and paan masala, which is prohibited during the fast in the month of ramazan.
This raised suspicion that it was an handiwork of some anti-social elements On the other hand, the rumours of riots led to panic in other parts of the state capital, particularly old city area. Shops were closed and people were asked to evacuate market as early as possible. Media exercised restrain in reporting the incident and helped in bringing normalcy. But some media-persons staged demonstration to protest attack on them.
Senior officers including the principal secretary home and director general of police rushed to the spot. They assured media-persons that government will compensate the losses. Several vehicles of the media-persons and their cameras were broken by the mob. The officers also issued an appeal to the people not to react on rumours and keep patience.
Meanwhile, curfew has been imposed in Kotwali police area in Allahabad on Friday evening after members of minority community ransacked shops and damaged more than 70 vehicles. About half-a-dozen persons including policemen also sustained injuries, as the mob tried to rake up the issue of violence against Muslims in Assam and Myanmar. Police had to use mild force to disperse the agitators and controlled the situation.
DP Giri, ADM (city) said, “Curfew has been imposed in the Kotwali area as a preventive measure.” Superintendent of police (city), Shailesh Kumar Yadav said”The situation all of a sudden went out of control after a group of youths who were the part of the procession lost their cool and started hurling bricks on shops and ransacking the vehicles parked at Chowk, Johnstonganj crossing and Leader Road Police swung into action and chased the agitators.”