Hindus performed worship on the occasion of Basant Panchami and Muslims offered Friday ‘namaz’ at the disputed Bhojshala structure here today where police resorted to mild force to disperse crowd when tension prevailed for a short while.
Inspector General of Police (Indore Range) Anuradha Shankar said Hindus performed continuous worship till 1300 hrs following which a small break was given for offering Friday ‘namaz’.
She said 16 Muslims offered ‘namaz’ on the occasion after which Hindus resumed their worship.
Members of a particular community allegedly pelted stones on police personnel and damaged a few government vehicles when police burst tear gas shells and resorted to a mild lathicharge to disperse crowd after worship on the occasion.
The Archaeological Survey of India and the Madhya Pradesh High Court had directed the district administration to arrange peaceful worship at Bhojshala for Muslims between 1300 hrs to 1500 hrs.
Security forces were attempting to disperse the crowd in view of the order.
Ms Shankar admitted that police resorted to mild force to disperse pilgrims but claimed it was done to discipline the crowd when it became difficult to control it. She claimed that the situation was fully under control. She appealed to people to neglect rumours.
Thousands of Hindus thronged the Bhojshala to offer prayers today amid tight security arrangements.
A ‘Shobha Yatra’ was also taken out on the occasion.
Heavy police force was deployed in this district in order to avoid a situation of communal tension like it had been created in 2006 when Basant Panchami and Friday had fallen on the same date.