Fresh tension in Bareilly over release of Sunni cleric



Lucknow: Fresh tension erupted in Bareilly after members of a community indulged in brick batting and arson following the release of Sunni cleric Maulana Tauqeer Raza Khan, who was arrested in connection with communal clashes, officials said here on Friday.

Leader of Ittehad-e-Millat Conference Maualna Khan, who was arrested on Monday last on charges of inciting a mob leading to communal clashes, was released last evening, they said.

Soon after Khan's release, members of a community defied curfew and went on a rampage indulging in heavy brick batting and arson in nearly one dozen localities of the old city area.

Police used force at a number of places to control the unruly mob, which torched nearly half a dozen buildings.

To protest against Maulana's release, BJP MLA Rajesh Agarwal and former MP Santosh Gangwar staged a dharna in front of the district magistrate's residence, which continued till late last night, they said.

Meanwhile, curfew continued in four police areas of the city including Premnagar, Qila, Baradari and Kotwali. All educational institutions have been closed till further orders, they said.

The state government had yesterday transferred District Magistrate Ashish Goel and Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) M K Bashal ostensibly for failing to control the situation.

While DM Pilibhit Anil Garg was posted as new Bareilly DM, DIG Anti-Terror Squad Allahabad zone Rajiv Sabbarwal was given additional charge in place of Bashal.

PTI