Twenty persons, including several police officials, were injured in a clash between the police and members of a religious sect in Uttar Pradesh’s Agra on Sunday, the Hindustan Times reported.
The violence took place during an anti-encroachment drive by the Uttar Pradesh government. The authorities alleged that members of the Radhasoami Satsang Sabha – a religious group that has followers among Hindus and Sikhs – encroached upon land belonging to the state’s revenue department in the Dayalbagh area.
The religious group had been given time until Friday to vacate the land, according to India Today.
On Saturday, city officials demolished gates and allegedly illegal structures on the land in the presence of the police. However, members of the sect again erected the gates after the police left, according to the Hindustan Times.
Deputy Commissioner of Police Suraj Kumar said that members of the sect resorted to stone pelting, which led to injuries to policemen.
“When the police arrived to remove the illegal encroachment, officials were attacked,” Kumar claimed. “We tried to control the crowd after talking to them, but they refused.”
The official said that it was subsequently decided to give the religious group more time to present its case, after which a decision on the future course of action would be taken. He added that no severe injuries were reported during the clash.
Earlier, two first information reports were registered at the New Agra Police Station against the president and two vice presidents of Radhasoami Satsang Sabha, according to the Hindustan Times. They were charged under sections related to trespassing and causing damage to public property.