In an incident that took place near Sigra police station in Varanasi last night, a mob of angry Muslims attacked local people and the police, and damaged property after they were told that a person was trying to grab a piece of land next to a Mosque. The land is reported to be disputed with unclear ownership.
The Mosque is situated near teachers’ colony of Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapeeth and a piece of land next to it was being used by a local advocate named Mantu Singh for tying his three cows. Due to the rainy season, the land had become too muddy and Mantu is reported to have ordered fresh soil to flatten the floor of the cow shed.
When the new soil was being dumped, it was objected to by some men who came out of the Mosque. They believed that this was an attempt to grab the land and a new construction was being carried out. The argument soon turned into an alteration and the crowd assembled clashed with each other and many people, including Mantu Singh suffered injuries.
However, things didn’t end there and it is reported that men who came out of the Mosque started making phone calls to people in their locality, telling them that the Mosque land was being grabbed.
A mob of hundreds of people reportedly gathered at nearby Fatman road and started slogan shouting. The mob soon turned violent. The cow shed on the disputed land was broken and set on fire, and the mob then proceeded to attack vehicles and passersbies in the locality.
Police had to resort to lathicharge to disperse the mob, which had already inflicted injuries on many people and damages to properties. The mob attacked the police force too, after which the police fired tear gas shells to disperse the mob and control the violence.
The situation is reported to be under control now and the police are trying to identify the people who led the mob to riot.