Communal tension gripped Deoband on Thursday after a temple was vandalised late on Wednesday night. The police swung into action soon after the incident and arrested one person. The accused allegedly vandalised the statues with a hammer. He will be tried under the stringent National Security Act.

“The culprit is 21-year-old Sadiq,” Deoband Senior Superintendent of Police Pradeep Kumar told the media. “We have arrested him and recovered the hammer he used to break the statues. He will be tried under the NSA.

“Several intelligence teams have been formed to foil any attempt to create communal disturbance. We have also tightened security in the area,” Mr. Kumar said.

“Since it is the Kanwariya season, a good number of people are visiting temples. Vandalism could have led to communal violence,” a senior police officer said.

According to police officer Yogendra Pal, Sadiq stayed in an area behind the temple. “He took the hammer from Tahir, an iron smith who has a shop near the temple. He was caught by his neighbours and handed over to us,” Mr. Pal said.

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