The Old City of Bhopal saw communal tension on Tuesday night with arson, stone-pelting among two communities. Reports suggest that at least four vehicles were also set on fire.
The Hindustan Times reported the dispute was over the right to pray inside the Hamidia Hospital complex. The first round of stone pelting took place at around 8:30 am when many Muslims had gathered for Iftar and VHP members began heading towards the complex to offer prayers.
Reports suggest the police had to use tear gas and lathicharge stone pelters.
Trouble has been allegedly brewing in the area for the past few days. The Hindustan Times report says that minarets were discovered in a structure while digging inside the hospital premises. Now, while the Muslim community claimed it was a masjid and wanted to offer prayers, the Hindu community wanted to pray at a temple next to the minarets. Both were denied permission.
Tight security has been deployed in the city even has things have remained calm since last night.
The Times of India reported the police as saying that the clashes were triggered by rumours on social media. They said that Section 144 CrPC or curfew had not been imposed at the hospital but there was heavy police presence.
"There can be no greater place of worship than a hospital. We are confident that law and order will be maintained. Curfew has not been imposed," district collector Nishant Warwade told The Times of India.
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