High tension prevailed on Sunday in Utnoor town situated in Telangana's Adilabad district, as a mob took to the streets, pelting stones and setting property on fire over a Whatsapp audio clip.
The police said that a resident of Ameenpura colony may have began circulating that clip, following which activists of the Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) filed a complaint.
According to reports, trouble started on Saturday night after people from one community torched a bus stand, protesting against the audio clip that was being circulated.
On Sunday, the situation escalated as a mob of 500 people from VHP and Bajrang Dal were on the streets, even as people of another community turned up and began protesting against the other group.
A heated argument followed, and things soon got out of hand, with the groups pelting stones at each other.
The New Indian Express reported that police personnel were forced to resort to baton charge and teargas shells, besides imposing Section 144 in the area.
A few policemen were injured in the clash.
The TNIE report also adds that special forces from nearby districts were deployed in the town, and around 15 check-posts had been set up.
The police is looking at restoring peace via talks with the leaders of both the groups. District Collector Buddha Prakash M Jyothi also visited the town to take stock of the situation.
â€śAdilabad SP M Srinivas, Dy SP A Laxminarayana sustained injuries in stone pelting. Eighteen persons have been arrested for pelting stones at policemen. The situation is under control now,â€ť DIG C Ravi Varma told PTI.