Maharashtra: Communal clashes in Aurangabad over water, one killed

Frederick Owens
May 14, 2018

Incidents of stone pelting and arson continued till 4 am.

The rioting started in the Moti Karanja area around 10 p.m. and spread to Gandhi Nagar, Raja Bazaar, Shah Ganj and Sarafa areas, forcing the police to fire in the air and lob teargas shells, an official said. Section 144 prohibits the congregation of more than four people in a particular area.

The cause of the death of the two persons, whose identities are still unknown, is not clear yet.

Aurangabad Police Commissioner Milind Bharambe said that there were just two rounds of violence, one Friday day followed a second on Saturday, but " now the circumstance is still under control".

"It was a small issue". Thereafter, locals panicked and shut their shops.

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Shahganj, Nawabpura, Rajabazaar and Angribaug were the areas that faced the worst of the violence, but have been calmed down for now.

Over 40 vehicles were torched, shops from Shahgunj and Chelipura area were set on fire. "Seven companies of State Reserve Police Force (SRPF) and one company of riot control police have now been deployed there", Bharambe said.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has been apprised of the matter while Minister of State for Home Deepak Kesarkar is rushing to Aurangabad to take stock of the situation, an official said in Mumbai. Police force have been multiplied and they have appealed to the people to not fall prey to rumours. Leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra Legislative Council Dhananjay Munde alleged that the violence reflected a failure of the State intelligence machinery, and demanded a judicial probe into the incident. The situation in the city become so critical that at least 100 shops were gutted.

When asked about the actual motive and if the illegal water connections set the city ablaze, Mr Bharambe added, "The investigation is underway to find the motive, however this (cutting of illegal water connections) is what people are saying at the moment".

In wake of the clash, Asaduddin Owaisi, President of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen said his party will provide all the necessary aid.

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