Bhopal, May 31: Bhopal’s Old City was gripped by tension on Tuesday night after arson and stone pelting between Hindus and Muslims over prayers inside Hamidia Hospital complex.

According to Hindustan Times, two rounds of stone pelting was reported in the area. Noteworthy, at least four vehicles were also set on fire near Peer Gate. The first case of stone pelting was reported around 8.30 pm. According to a police official, the violence broke out when a large number of Muslims gathered on the road for Iftar and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) members started moving towards a temple inside the hospital complex to offer prayers.

In a bid to disperse the mob, police cane-charged them and also used teargas shells.

The stone pelting spread panic and shops closed. A second round of stone pelting started around 10.30 pm when Muslims came out on the road after namaz in a nearby masjid. Police repeatedly cane-charged the mobs, but they kept coming back.

Trouble started brewing in the area after some minarets were recently discovered in a structure during digging on the Hamidia hospital premises following which the members of the Muslim community claimed it was a masjid and desired to offer namaz there. However, the administration, refused to their demands.

On Monday, members of the Hindu community wanted to pray in a temple inside the hospital campus next to the newly discovered minarets and the permission to the same was also not granted by the district administration.