Mumbai: A timely intervention by a group of 'police mitra' (friends of police) in Dhule town in north Maharashtra recently helped allay rumours surrounding the death a Muslim youth and reduce tension in the area, police said.

According to police, although the youth had died in a road accident, rumours were spread that he had been murdered, following which a crowd gathered at the spot and caused tense situation in the town.

"A rumour that a Muslim youth had been killed recently at Vadjai Road in Dhule spread like wildfire, following which a huge crowd gathered at the spot. The situation was tense and could have worsened, but Dhule SP Sahebrao Patil immediately contacted some police mitra in that area and asked to go to the spot," a police officer said.

After reaching the spot, the five police mitra, who also belonged to the minority community, learnt that the youth had died in a road accident.

"The police mitra then cleared the misunderstanding among the crowd and also helped catch the accused," said the officer said.

A case against the accused was registered Azad Nagar police station under section 304 A (causing death by negligence) of IPC, police said.