[Representational Image]Reuters

An imam was reportedly injured when a bomb exploded inside a mosque in Muzaffarnagar's Bhumma village in western Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday night.

The blast worsened communal tension, triggered by the murder of a Hindu youth on Monday night. He was shot dead outside his house by four men.

While the police arrested two of the accused -- identified as Yaqub and Monu -- the next day, the other two were allegedly seen by villagers taking shelter in the mosque where later bomb had exploded.

The imam, Mohammad Muneer, told the police that someone hurled two bombs inside the mosque. However, some others claimed that the bombs were already planted on its premises, the India Today reported.

There were half a dozen men inside the mosque at the time of explosion, the imam said.

Earlier on 30 June, the angry villagers had surrounded the mosque where several Muslims had taken refuge to avoid clashes following the youth's murder. The police said the angry villagers took to stone pelting and firing.

"Several Muslims who live close to the area took refuge in the mosque. They remained there till Tuesday afternoon till we rescued them after dispersing the mob," The Indian Express quoted a senior police officer as saying.

The police had to resort to lathicharge to remove the protesters from the vicinity of mosque. They even fired some shots in the air in order to disperse the protesters. The villagers were protesting the murder of 25-year-old Satveer Kashyap and the police inaction.

The protesters alleged that the attack took place in the presence of three policemen. They accused the three policemen of taking no action against the culprits who fled from the scene after killing Kashyap.

"He was shot dead in the presence of three policemen, including one inspector, but they did not even attempt to nab the culprits, who managed to flee," Kashyap's younger brother Arjun told the Indian Express.

Muzaffarnagar's senior superintendent of police KB Singh told Mail Today that the SHO of the area, Mohammad Shoyeb, and two constables were suspended over their alleged inaction. He said the hunt was on for the other two accused.

"The police force has been deployed at several places in the district to maintain peace. The policemen who were posted there on Monday night including SHO Mohammad Shoyeb and two constables have already been suspended for dereliction of duty. A probe is going on in last night's incident and the culprits would be nabbed soon," Singh said.

Muzaffarnagar happens to be one of the most communally sensitive places of Uttar Pradesh and has witnessed many such incidents in the last few years.

The state was under the grip of communal tension at least twice last month -- once when a man died in cross-firing between two communities in Saharanpur and next when 18 people were injured following disputes over using loudspeaker in a temple beside a mosque during evening prayers.

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