The industrial town of Rudrapur in Uttarakhand was today brought under curfew following widespread clashes between members of two communities that left three people dead and scores of others injured.
Rudrapur-Pantnagar twin industrial towns attained prominence after big industrial houses like Nestle, Tata Motors, Bajaj Auto and others set up their manufacturing units there during the past few years. There were no report of any damage to the industries which were closed on account of Mahatama Gandhi’s birth anniversary today.
The authorities were forced to clamp curfew on Rudrapur town, the district headquarters of Udhamsingh Nagar following an alleged act of sacrilege, which triggered widespread clashes early this morning with members of two communities indulging in running street battles. In the ensuing clashes, nearly 5 shops and scores of vehicles were torched.
Industrial production is likely to be affected tomorrow as majority of factory workers live in Rudrapur town which is under curfew, said Udhamsingh Nagar District Magistrate B V R Purushotam.
"The curfew has been clamped to deal with the situation in Rudrapur town where nearly four to five shops and scores of vehicles were also torched," said Purushotam said.
Though sources said three people were killed in the clashes, Purushotam refused to acknowledge saying only two person have been killed. "We are verifying reports about casualties," he said.
Security has been strengthened in the area with police patrolling all the vital installations. The situation is being described as tense but under control. Rapid Action Force (RAF) personnel are also being deployed in the area as a precautionary step.
The trouble began early this morning when some anti-social elements threw a religious book at street that caused immediate provocation. Soon, slogan shouting people raised slogans and pelted stones and torched vehicles and shops. Fire brigade vehicles were pressed immediately to douse the fire.
Uttarakhand Chief Minister B C Khanduri is closely monitoring the situation and has asked senior police officials to take stern action against the miscreants.