Tension prevailed in Shamli district after a violent mob clashed with the police force at Kandhla police station, leaving 17 injured, including 16 policemen. The protesters also torched 12 vehicles parked on the police station premises and damaged furniture and other property. The sole protester who was injured received gunshot injuries.
However, police claimed they had used only lathicharge and rubber bullets to control the mob and denied firing. They also said they had recovered three .315 bore empty shells.
“The injured, Deen Mohammed, has been referred to Meerut,” Ajay Chauhan, the in-charge of Kandhla police station, said. Shamli had been among the worst-hit areas during the 2013 riots in western Uttar Pradesh.
Meerut Zone IG Alok Sharma said the men had attacked the Kandhla police station following rumours that three of the people staging a protest on the tracks near the Kandhla railway station had been killed in police firing. The railway track protest was being held over the alleged assault on Friday on five members of the Tablighi Jamaat travelling on the Janata Express from Delhi to Saharanpur for a religious gathering.
The IG said the protest had led to halting of two trains, and police had to use lathicharge as the demonstrators, numbering around 5,000, started pelting stones at trains.
Local SP MLA (Kairana area) Nahid Hasan had joined the demonstrators on the railway tracks. His aide said he had gone there to pacify the mob.
Superintendent of Police, Shamli, Vijay Bhushan said late on Friday, the five Tablighi Jamaat members, led by some local Muslims, had come to the Kandhla police station in Shamli and got an FIR lodged against six unidentified youths.
The Tablighi men, who all belong to Maharashtra, Bhushan said, had not proceeded to Saharanpur but got off at Kandhla to lodge the complaint. The case would be transferred to the Badaut GRP for investigation, Bhushan said.