Nearly 50 people, including two local BJP workers, were today held in Samastipur and Nalanda districts of Bihar in connection with communal clashes that erupted there in the last couple of days.
Eleven persons have been taken into custody in Samastipur district where trouble had erupted on Tuesday when some miscreants hurled footwear at a procession carrying the idol of Goddess Durga for immersion upon the conclusion of Chaiti Navaratra festivities in Rohtas town, Superintendent of Police Deepak Ranjan said.
Two local BJP leaders were also among those detained for interrogation, the SP said while declining to divulge their names.
During the violence, heavy stone-pelting was witnessed from two sides close to a mosque and three motorcycles were also set afire.
Additional Superintendent of Police, Dalsinghsarai, Santosh Kumar, and Inspector-in-charge of Samastipur town Chaturvedi Sudhir Kumar sustained injuries while trying to disperse the rioters, Ranjan said.
The situation was brought under control after heavy deployment of police and active involvement of senior officials including the zonal Inspector General of Police, the DIG and the Divisional Commissioner concerned, though prohibitory orders under Section 144 were also clamped on Rosera which remain in force, the SP said.
Those involved in the clashes are being identified with the help of CCTV footage and so far 11 persons have been rounded up for interrogation, the SP said.
Meanwhile, 36 people, including two women, have been arrested in Nalanda district where members of two communities had clashed yesterday while a Ram Navami procession was being taken out in Silao block.
According to Superintendent of Police Sudhir Kumar Porika, the arrested persons were among 74 people named in an FIR lodged at Silao police station. Commercial establishments remained closed in Silao as businessmen feared a fresh flare-up, though the situation has so far remained under control.
Communal clashes have been reported from various parts of Bihar in the recent past, with opposition parties like the RJD and the Congress accusing the BJP of inciting violence and charging JD(U) president and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar with being "helpless" before the coalition partner.