Small Tiff Takes a Communal Turn in UP’s Aligarh District

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A resident, requesting anonymity, said: “One of the two groups was from Bajrang Dal and they were all drunk when they assaulted the owner and the workers of the hotel.”

Ghazala Ahmad | Clarion India

NEW DELHI – A petty tiff between two groups snowballed into a communal clash that turned violent in Uttar Pradesh’s Aligarh district on Monday midnight.

The two groups had arrived at a roadside eatery separately for dinner. A small argument between some members over a trivial issue later became violent in the Sarai Sultani area around midnight. 

Initially, the issue was resolved as some locals intervened and separated the brawling groups.

After some time, one of the groups returned to the hotel and reportedly misbehaved with, abused and assaulted its owner. 

The members of the group are said to be associated with Bajrang Dal and were allegedly inebriated.

A resident, present at the spot during the incident, told Clarion India, “It was not a communal clash initially, two groups from the neighbouring area came to have dinner and an argument started between them. Frayed tempers were soothed immediately due to the intervention of the locals.”

The matter became communal, he said, when one of the groups returned and threatened and abused the owner of the S. Taj Hotel and pelted stones in the area.

Another resident, requesting anonymity, said: “One of the two groups was from Bajrang Dal and they were all drunk when they assaulted the owner and the workers of the hotel.”

He was also all praise for the police. “This area of the city is very sensitive as both the communities live here in large numbers but police handled the situation very strategically, and nothing untoward happened.”

A large police force was deployed in the area soon after the incident.

Although the situation remained under control on Tuesday, people are scared.

While Clarion India was fetching information about the incident from a resident on call the person was repeatedly interrupted by his father to ‘speak carefully’.

Senior Superintendent of Police Kalanidhi Naithani, who reached the spot along with his team, told reporters early Tuesday that the situation was under control but a strict vigil is being maintained.

The hotel owner’s wife was also called to the police station for interrogation, locals said.

No casualties have been reported and no arrests have been made so far.

Clarion India efforts to contact senior police officials of the city did not bear fruit as several calls to them went unanswered.

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