A communal clash broke in the state capital on Friday night after a minor spat between two communities over use of a loudspeaker during Friday prayers snowballed into pitched battles and incidents of vandalism, officials said.
The violence took place at an area under the Bazarkhala police station in old city. Both sides pelted stones at each other, and fired blanks in the air.
Deputy Inspector General of Police, Lucknow Range, R.K. Chaturvedi told IANS that in the afternoon, a Hindu community meal had been organized at Master Kanhaiyya Lal road and a loudspeaker was being used here at the same time, when Friday prayers were beginning. There was a verbal spat at that time but the situation was defused after intervention of community elders, the police official informed.
However the simmering anger spilled out in the open late night and both sides fought pitched battles and pelted stones at each other as well as vandalising public property. After the handful of police men on picket duty were outnumbered, police reinforcements were rushed to the scene. Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) has also been deployed.
District officials conceded that the situation was tense and that intermittent sloganeering was being heard from the lanes in the area but said the situation was "largely in control".