12 arrested for inciting riots in Agra (Lead)

September 10th, 2008 - 1:44 am ICT by IANS  

Agra, Sep 10 (IANS) A dozen people were arrested for inciting riots as tension continued to prevail in the Mantola area of the city Tuesday following communal clashes Monday night, police said.Additional companies of the Provincial Armed Constabulary were deployed and a flag march held by the police in the afternoon. However, it failed to restore normalcy.

The markets in the sensitive Mantola remained closed even as the police combed the area and removed piles of stones and bricks stocked on roof tops. For most part of the day people remained confined to their homes, while some families have left the area.

The police has arrested a dozen people accused of inciting riots. Shiraj Qureshi, a social worker of the area, said “Tension is present all over. The situation has not yet fully returned to normal.” The police in charge of Mantola thana has registered a case against unidentified arsonists.

A minor accident had Monday night triggered communal clashes with mobs pelting stones at each other and two houses were set on fire.

On Monday night, a two-wheeler accidentally hit a woman in the locality. Though she wasn’t seriously injured, the incident snowballed into a riot as angry crowds hurled accusations at each other, pelted stones and even set two houses ablaze. Police had to use tear gas shells and baton charge the unruly crowd to bring the situation under control late in the night.

Mantola is just three kilometres from the Taj Mahal.

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