Meerut: About 50 people, including a senior police officer and two media persons, were injured in a communal clash in Meerut Saturday, police said.
The incident occurred around 2 pm in Teer Gehran area when a group of people was installing a water facilitation kiosk near a mosque.
Members of the Jain community opposed the installation of the kiosk, saying it was near their temple too and the queue of people would disturb the peace of the premises.
But people from the other community did not agree and installed the water kiosk there, following which a scuffle took place between the two rival groups.
The scuffle blew out of proportion and people started shouting slogans against the other community.
Some vehicles and kiosks were set afire, and members from each side started pelting bricks and stones. There were also reports of firing.
Four people who were shot at during the brawl are reported to be in critical condition.
Following the rioting, shops were closed in the area, and heavy police force was deployed, an official told IANS.
When police reached the spot to control the mob, Superintendent of Police (City) Om Prakash Singh was injured along with some other police personnel.
Two camerapersons, who were trying to capture footage of the incident, were also injured. Their cameras were also damaged.
"Patrolling has been intensified, and police forces from other areas along with the Provincial Armed Constabulary and Rapid Action Force have been deployed to restore peace," Om Prakash Singh told IANS.
Inspector General of Police (Law and Order) AK Senger told IANS that tension was simmering between two communities for quite some time now and that resulted in Saturday`s rioting.