A police team was attacked and several of their vehicles were set on fire during a violent clash between two groups in Maharashtra's Aurangabad last evening. An argument between two groups of young men had snowballed into the clash in Aurangabad, which has been renamed as Chhatrapati Sambhaji Nagar.
A heavy police force has been called in to the area to prevent a communal escalation, especially because of Ram Navami and the month of Ramzan. The situation, they said, is now under control.
About 500-600 people were involved in the attack and are yet to be identified, the police said. The incident took place in Kiradpura, which has a famous Ram temple, Police Commissioner Nikhil Gupta said.
"It started after some youth clashed. A combing operation is underway to detain them. The mob incident went on for almost an hour. Around six to seven vehicles were damaged," Mr Gupta told news agency PTI.
The burnt vehicles have been removed. No arrest has been made yet, the police said. They have formed 10 teams to arrest those who fanned the violence.
Videos circulating on social media showed local MP Imtiyaz Jaleel, state BJP minister Atul Save, and others making efforts to ensure peace.
"Two groups of young men had clashed over some announcements. This led to hundreds of people gathering on the roads and started throwing stones," said Mr Jaleel, who belongs to Asaduddin Owaisi's AIMIM party.
Chief Minister Eknath Shinde appealed for peace and said, "Today is Ram Navami and it is the Ramazan month too. People of all religions and communities have been celebrating their festivals together. We hope the same happens in Sambhaji Nagar. We appeal to everyone to cooperate and maintain law and order."
(With inputs from PTI)