More than 250 people were booked in Malerkotla, Punjab, on Saturday after pages of the Quran were reportedly found in the town. A scuffle broke out when a group of around 300 protestors arrived at local Akali Dal MLA Farzana Nissara Khatoon’s house at 1 am to complain about the incident. The protestors said they were turned away, while Khatoon’s security personnel said they had fired in self-defence when the mob turned violent.
Several protestors climbed the gates of Khatoon’s house and damaged her vehicles. A private bus was also torched in the area, The Indian Express reported. The situation was brought under control by additional police forces from Sangrur. The 250 people were booked on attempt to murder charges.
The police said they had lodged three First Information Reports. One FIR was on the alleged desecration of the Quran, and the other two were related to the mob attacking the police and those who caused damage to property.
Khatoon claimed the violence was a political ploy, while her husband blamed the Congress. However, Punjab Congress president Amarinder Singh claimed Khatoon’s security personnel had fired at the protestors unprovoked.
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal said, “Nobody will be allowed to disturb the hard earned peace and communal harmony in the state.”