Curfew was imposed in Gorakhnagar area of Gorakpur on Monday after supporters of local Bharatiya Janata Party parliamentarian Yogi Adityanath held massive protest demonstrations leading to sporadic violence following his arrest Sunday night.
Earlier, police resorted to lathicharge to disperse the supporters, who had offered stiff resistance to Adityanath's arrest and held demonstrations on Monday. The curfew was already in force in Rajghat, Kotwali and Tiwaripur areas of the city since January 27.
Violence had broken out when a procession on the seventh day of Muharram in Khunipur area was disrupted due to stone pelting from nearby houses. With Gorakhnagar, the total number of police stations where curfew has been imposed has risen to four, ADM (City) P K Agrawal said.
Following the violence Gorakhpur's District Magistrate Hari Om was shifted and Special Secretary (Home) Rakesh Goyal was appointed in his place, official sources in Lucknow said.
The BJP parliamentarian was detained by the police while going towards troubled areas of the city. He was taken to police lines first but later booked under various sections of the IPC and sent to jail, along with 150 of his supporters, Inspector General of Police (Gorakhpur) V K Verma said.
Elsewhere in the city more than a dozen people have been arrested for violation of curfew and threat to peace.
Additional Director General of Police A C Sharma is camping in the city and keeping a close watch on the situation. He said peaceful Muharram processions would be allowed but section 144 would remain effective and no public figure would be allowed to enter the troubled areas till the situation becomes normal.
Attempts were made to ransack the District magistrate's office while some shops were damaged in the midst of a bandh call given by supporters of the parliamentarian in Gorakhpur and Basti divisions. Educational institutions and markets remained closed while traffic remain thin on the streets.
A roadways bus was also torched at Deoria while tension gripped Maharajganj, Mau, Kushinagar, Basti districts as Hindu Yuva Vahini activisits took to streets to register their protest. Security has been beefed up at all the sensitive places, official sources said.
Meanwhile, alleging that the sectarian violence in Gorakhpur were 'government-sponsored and aimed at deriving political mileage,' the BJP has demanded deployment of central forces in the town to restore normalcy and release of its arrested parliamentarian and other leaders.
"The violence in Gorakhpur appears to be government-sponsored with the intention of gaining political mileage in the forthcoming assembly polls," Opposition leader in the Vidhan Sabha, Lalji Tandon, told media persons. Tandon and state BJP president Kesri Nath Tripathi will visit the violence-affected town on Tuesday to assess the situation.
Meanwhile, BJP leader Kalyan Singh urged Governor T V Rajeswar to dismiss the Mulayam Singh Yadav government for its 'failure to protect the lives of people.' Party workers staged a demonstration before the Vidhan Bhavan and burnt the chief minister's effigy. They also pelted stones damaging several vehicles.
The Congress has also condemned the Gorakhpur incident and constituted an eight-member committee, which will visit the city to take stock of the situation.
State Congress president Salman Khursheed, in a statement issued, alleged the state government in connivance with communal forces are conspiring such riots ahead of the assembly polls to gain political mileage. He appealed to the people of Gorakhpur to maintain peace.