Muzaffarnagar (UP): IBN7 journalist Rajesh Verma and a photographer hired by police, Israr, were among those killed in fresh clashes between members of two communities in the district, where tension has been simmering since violence in Kawal village ten days ago.
Verma and Israr were killed in the violence in separate parts of the district.
Tension has been simmering in the region since three persons were killed in the district's Kawal village on 27 August following a minor dispute after the collision of two motorbikes.
Saturday's incidents occurred as a meeting was being held in Naglabadhod in defiance of prohibitory orders to demand withdrawal of cases registered in connection with the 27 August Kawal violence, whose probe has now been handed over to a Special Task Force (STF).
Security had been tightened in view of the Naglabadhod meeting and prohibitory orders imposed in the area, police said.
The photographer was beaten to death in Sekeda village by a group of people returning from the meeting, police sources said.
Five persons were injured when members of two communities pelted stones at each other in Basiakla village. In Ilmanspur village, a mob set a vehicle on fire.
Meanwhile, crime branch today arrested ex-Jansath block head, Virender Singh, for an alleged provocative speech during the last meeting on 31 August.
Singh is a cousin of Shashank Shekhar Singh, who was former Uttar Pradesh Cabinet Secretary in the previous Mayawati government in the state.
According to DSP JR Joshi, the ex-block head was arrested for allegedly participating in an "unauthorised meeting" while prohibitory orders were in force in the area.
DGP Deo Raj Nagar said the government has formed a Special Task Force to investigate the Kawal incident.
"Some elements are trying to create communal tension in the region. The STF will be helpful to normalise the situation. No one would be allowed to breach peace in the area," he said.
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