Tension prevailed in some hamlets of Shimla district in Himachal Pradesh on Friday following reports of cow slaughter.
Three places of worship and a few habitations were set afire at the hamlets in the Nerwa sub-tehsil of the Chopal division.
Reports said a mob gathered and demanded the arrest of a person who had allegedly slaughtered the cow.
The local police had a tough time controlling the mob and additional forces were sent from the nearby police stations of Theog and Chopal. Some policemen were manhandled.
Some religious organisations had given a call on the occasion of Maha Shivratri which led to the communal tension, said a resident of Khurvi Nallah.
Shops remained shut due to the tense situation.
The CPI(M) State unit strongly condemned the incident and blamed the BJP government for not anticipating trouble and deploying sufficient police force in the area. It demanded the arrest of people involved in the arson and attacks on shops and dwellings of the minority community.