At least one person lost his life and more than 35, including 10 policemen, were reportedly injured after a petty row between two parties over clamping illegal water connection at a religious place escalated into a communal clash in Maharashtra’s Aurangabad.
The deceased was identified as 62-years-old Jaganlal Bansile, who was a resident of the city’s Shahaganj area.
The clashes erupted late Friday night after illegal water connections belonging to members of a particular community were removed from Motikaranja area. According to media reports, many shops and vehicles were set on fire and there were incidents of stone pelting.
As the clashing mobs reported to have burnt down over 100 shops, curfew was imposed in the city and the internet services were also suspended.
While the actual reason behind the riots is yet to be ascertained, some reports indicate that the Aurangabad civic body, which embarked on a demolition drive of unauthorised tap connections, demolished one of the taps that belonged to a shrine.
Police forces were rushed to the locality but they failed to control the violence and resorted to caning and firing teargas shells and plastic bullets to control the rampaging crowds.
Aurangabad Police Commissioner Milind Bharambe said there were two rounds of violence, one Friday evening, followed by another on Saturday, but “now the situation is under control”.
The worst-hit areas were Shahganj, Nawabpura, Rajabazaar and Angribaug, which continued to remain calm but tense.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has been apprised of the matter.
Meanwhile, All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen President Asaduddin Owaisi appealed to Mr Fadnavis to take strong action against the troublemakers indulging in the rioting.
(With agency inputs)