A minor altercation between some people snowballed into a communal clash in Uttar Pradesh's Barabanki district on Saturday, as two communities fought pitched battles, attacked police and set aflame vehicles, police said.
The violence started when two men of one community were beaten up by a bus cleaner from a different community, soon bringing the two communities face to face with each other.
An official told IANS that Gyanchandra and Jang Bahadur, two residents of Phoolmati travelled in a private bus to Jaidpur on Friday. They had a verbal spat with the bus driver and cleaner.
On their return journey, Gyanchandra and Bahadur took the same bus. But the bus cleaner Kaleem beat them up and deboarded them, he added.
The matter, however, reached the Siddhaur police station where officials pacified both sides and the mob retreated.
However, a section accused the police of favouring a certain community following which violence broke out at the Hathia Baradari square and people from both sides beat up each other, hurling stones and torching vehicles.
Senior officials rushed to the spot but the violence escalated further by noon.
Police said the situation had been brought under control since then, and police reinforcements sent to the troubled area to contain violence and maintain peace.