The army was asked to stand by as tension gripped Gaya, Bihar, on Friday after unidentified miscreants damaged idols of two gods.
Mobs took to streets, indulged in arson and stoned policemen soon after the news of the damage spread.
Protests were witnessed in some parts of the town and the police had to use lathis to disperse the agitators.
Divisional Commissioner (Magadh range) M C Sirohi told the Press Trust of India that the administration had asked the army to assist in case the situation spiralled out of control.
Sirohi, however, expressed confidence that the situation was likely to be controlled with the help of reinforcements from Patna and neighbouring districts.
He said one company of the Rapid Action Force and anti-riot Vajra vehicles had arrived from Patna.
On December 28, tension had gripped Gaya, 15 km from the Buddhist pilgrim centre of Bodh Gaya, after miscreants damaged a few idols at Ramshila under Kotwali police station.
A security blanket has already been thrown in and around Bodh Gaya, where the Kalchakra Puja, the most sacred of rituals of the Mahayana sect of Buddhism, will begin on January 12.
Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama and the 17th Karmapa title claimant Ugyen Trinley Dorje will participate in the nine-day puja.