Cricket match triggers communal clash in Agra

Agra, June 18 (IANS) Dozens of people were injured in a communal clash that broke out here Monday following a cricket match. Peace was restored by Tuesday morning, said police.

Police said two groups clashed at the city’s Ram Lila ground Monday after one of the teams lost a cricket match, and soon shop owners in the Bijlighar, Chipi tola and Shivaji Market area downed shutters in haste.

By late evening, tension prevailed in city’s Kazipada, Mantola and Dholi Khaar areas and the situation was brought under control after a large contingent of police was rushed in.

In the communally sensitive areas of Kazi Pada and Mantola, “the situation is well under control”, a police official said Tuesday.

A case has been registered against rioters at the Mantola police station, the official added.

Police had to use tear gas shells and batons to disperse rampaging mobs after a leather warehouse in the city was set on fire.

A train heading for Ahmedabad got stranded at the Agra Fort railway station for more than two hours in view of the rioting. Schedule of over a dozen trains was affected, a railway official said.

“Had the district authorities and the police top brass not acted in time, the city would have been up in flames,” said activist Shravan Kumar Singh.

Hundreds of armed cops were seen Tuesday patrolling the sensitive Mantola, an area that has seen a series of communal riots since 2003.

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