Updated: July 25, 2022 3:15:40 pm
The Bijnor police said Monday they have arrested two brothers for allegedly trying to incite communal violence by vandalising three shrines in the district.
The attackers also set ablaze several holy chadars used at the mazars, added the police. All three mazars, which were damaged by the accused, fall under the Sherkot police station area of Bijnor.
The arrested men have been identified as Mohammad Kamal, 35, and his brother Mohammad Adil, 23, said a police officer. Kamal, who had gone abroad for work, came back a while ago and Adil works as a plumber, added the officer.
Officials from the Intelligence Bureau and Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) are questioning them about their motives and trying to verify if they are associated with any organisation or acted independently.
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A senior police official said that the incident shows attempts were made to disturb the atmosphere amid the Kanwar Yatra and that directions have been issued to the police to be more alert.
Bijnor Additional Superintendent of Police Omvir Singh said that they were alerted at around 4 pm on Sunday by the caretaker of one of the mazars that someone had demolished the structure.
A police team was rushed to the spot and while it was trying to collect information about the attackers, who they said were wearing saffron scarfs, they got information that another shrine located around four kilometre away had been also damaged.
The team then rushed to the other location and with the help of local residents caught the two men while they were trying to escape on a motorcycle, said an officer. They brought the brothers to the police station for questioning. In the meantime, the police also came to know that a third mazar had also been damaged.
The police said that during their interrogation, the accused confessed to having damaged the three mazars. “They are still being questioned,” said a police officer.
The arrested men have been booked on charges of promoting enmity between two groups, mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to destroy house etc, lurking house-trespass or house-breaking in order to commit offence and disturbing religious assembly. The police have also invoked Section 7 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act against the men.
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