Armed forces out in Bihar town after clash (Lead)

March 13th, 2009 - 2:28 pm ICT by IANS  

Patna, March 13 (IANS) Bihar’s Sasaram town was tense Friday with the armed forces marching through troubled areas following a communal clash that injured more than 13 people and resulted in the arrest of an activist of the radical Hindu Bajrang Dal group.
Nine shops were looted in the clash between two communities Thursday night, police in Sasaram, 200 km from the state capital Patna, said.

“Armed forces have been deployed in sensitive areas near Sher Shah’s tomb,” a police official said.

“We have arrested Shivnath Chaudhray, a member of the Bajrang Dal’s Sasaram unit, for spreading rumours,” Sasaram Superintendent of Police Vikas Vaivho told IANS, describing the situation as “normal but tense”.

Residents said tension in the area had been building up since earlier this week, with Tuesday being Prophet Mohammed’s birthday Milad-un-Nabi and Wednesday Holi.

“Miscreants have been trying to spread rumours since then but the local administration has played a good role in controlling the violence,” said Mannan Bashir, a resident.

The administration has held a joint meeting of the two communities in a bid to maintain peace.

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