Agra: Lok Sabha member from Agra Ram Shankar Katheria was injured when he was hit in stone-pelting by a mob, police said on Saturday.

The incident, in an area where most hotels are located, prompted foreign tourists to flee. Katheria had to be admitted to a hospital after he was hit by a stone in the Tourist Complex area of Fatehabad Road on Friday night.

Hotels and cars were attacked. Most foreign tourists fled, some leaving the city late at night, as they feared for their life, industry sources said. Police denied that tourists had left Agra due to the disturbances, but some hoteliers confirmed that a few groups had chosen to shift to Delhi out of panic.

The tourist area close to the Taj Mahal saw a massive deployment of police personnel. Violence broke out after residents of Taj Ganj area brought out a man's body and blocked the road.

Ramu, originally from Firozabad, was married to Sapna of Taj Ganj area only three months ago. His family members said the police had picked him up for gambling with some others.

They accused the police of mercilessly beating Ramu, who subsequently died, and throwing his body in the wilderness. The police wanted access to the body but the agitators, who numbered several hundred, refused and pelted stones.

Later a mob attacked hotels and restaurants on Fatehabad Road. The protestors damaged vehicles parked outside hotels on Fatehabad Road. A marriage party was disturbed and the groom from Punjab beaten up.

Police resorted to a mild baton-charge, bursting of tear gas shells and firing of rubber bullets to control the mob. Katheria, along with senior police officials, tried to intervene and persuade the protestors.

It was then that a stone hit the MP who is now being treated in a private nursing home for a serious head injury.Police officials have reviewed the security arrangements in the tourist complex, with Taj Mahal's security being beefed up.

Police on early Saturday said the situation was under control.


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