Tiff between youth turns communal in Pune; 11 arrested

Stones thrown inside Noor-e-Ilahi Masjid of Pune

By TwoCircles.net Staff Reporter

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Pune: What started as a tiff between two groups of youth took a communal turn leading to clash between two communities in which over dozen people were injured from both groups. The simmering tension in Parvati Darshan area here continued on Wednesday too even as police claimed they arrested 11 persons and the situation was “normal.”

It started at around 10 pm on Tuesday with a group of youngsters allegedly troubled over headlights of a bike directly focused on their eyes. They beat the duo on the bike, who were injured and left soon to report to a nearby police station. “In the meanwhile, this group gathered and pelted stones and bricks at the Noore-e-Ilahi mosque, about 100 metres from the spot,” Azhar Tamboli, an activist associated with Maharashtra Action Committee, said.

The people inside the mosque offering prayers were saved as one of them quickly closed the main door. “But soon after, when they were returning after the prayers around 10.30 pm, they were attacked with weapons. The two groups clashed and people from the area got involved too. Two of their people were injured, while from our side 18 were injured. These included two women and children too,” Tamboli, who is also the MIM’s Pune district general secretary, alleged.

An injured man

Police fired in the air to disperse the mob. Cross complaints were lodged at the Dattawadi police station. But the matter did not end there and then.

On Wednesday, Tamboli said people from Shiv Sena gathered in large numbers at a temple, barely 150 metres from the mosque. “Despite section 144 in place, police allowed them to gather and perform maha-aarti that too at the time of Iftaar,” he alleged further and added: “We are more perplexed with the police role. Last night they were strict. What happened to them today? Their role is suspicious.”

Tamboli provided TCN with a list of 12 people who were injured in the clash.

Police denied all such allegations. DCP Sudhakar Pathare said they had arrested 11 persons from both the communities. He denied tension continued anymore. “There is no section 144, just that there is enough police deployment but the situation is normal,” he said.

Asked as to why the maha-aarti was allowed when tension prevailed in the area, Pathare said, “It was not a maha aarti or anything. The temple has the evening aarti daily. Just that today more people gathered. But I repeat, the situation is normal.”

It could not be independently verified if indeed people from Shiv Sena were involved or not.