Lucknow, July 31: Violence broke out here on Wednesday as two communities of Muslims fought in the Bazarkhala area after stones were pelted near Bhadenva telephone exchange on the "taboot" procession of the 21st Ramzan, police said.
Following the incident, groups took to the streets and torched over a dozen shops in the area. Police resorted to a cane charge to disperse the clashing groups and restore normalcy.
Senior police officials said that while the situation was under control, a heavy police posse has been deployed in the area to avoid further escalation of violence. Stray incidents of stone pelting, however, continue to be reported in some parts.
All India Shia Personal Law Board spokesperson Maulana Yasoob Abbas, condemning the violence, alleged that it was all part of a pre-meditated plan to disrupt the holy month of Ramzan.
He also alleged that many women and children were injured in the incident and demanded enhanced security in the days before the Eid.
People pelt stones
People pelt stones during a clash in Lucknow on Wednesday.
Police resort to lathicharge at a clash in Lucknow on Wednesday.
RAF personnel patrol
RAF personnel patrol after a clash between two groups in Lucknow on Wednesday.
Battle against a fire
A firefighter douses a fire that broke out in a shop during a clash in Lucknow on Wednesday.
"Many processions will be taken out in the coming days, and the state government should ensure that no further incidents like this one take place," Maulana Abbas said.
Inspector General of Police (Law and Order) R K Vishwakarma, however, said that for now, the 21st day procession has passed off. Police denied that people were injured in Wednesday's violence.
Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Arun Kumar said that the people who tried to disrupt the procession have been identified.
"Strict action in accordance with law will be taken against them," he said, adding that 17 companies of Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) and two companies of Rapid Action Force (RAF) have been rushed to the troubled spot.