A curfew was imposed in a section of the city on Friday after a crowd, protesting the violence in Assam and Myanmar, allegedly attacked a business neighbourhood here during a rally. Forces of the State Police and Provincial Armed Constabulary were rushed to the spot when residents, protesting the damage done to their property by the passing crowd, came to the streets in large numbers. They demanded that a five-day curfew be imposed in the area.
Trouble started when a group of people, who had assembled after attending prayers on the last Friday of the Muslim month of Ramzan, allegedly pelted stones and bricks at shops and cars, causing damage to property. According to an eyewitness, the crowd had attacked at random, with some attempting to vandalise shops. At least a dozen vehicles and shops were reportedly damaged.
In just minutes of the act, shops were shut down and the streets in the area were strewn with large chunks of bricks and stones, and broken glass.
District Magistrate Anil Kumar rushed to the spot, along with senior police officials, and requested locals to maintain peace and to reach a compromise.
Mr. Kumar, who was wearing protective gear, tried calming down the protesting crowd himself. The crowd, however, refused to budge till late evening, and demanded for the implementation of a five-day curfew in the area.
Police cordoned off the area, separating the two groups, but had to lathi charge sections of the crowd, which was turning aggressive.
According to police sources, the trouble started as a result of some rumours, and the matter is currently under investigation; arrests would be made soon. The situation was brought under control by late evening, police said. Some residents alleged that the police watched from a distance even while the stone pelting was on. The Muslim festival of Eid-ul-Fitr is scheduled for Monday. There have been three incidents of communal violence in the state since the new government came to power in March.