Aurangabad clashes: Two people have been reported dead and 30 others injured in clashes that broke out between two communities in Aurangabad on Friday and continued till Saturday afternoon. One of the two deceased was a minor, who was hit by pellets fired by police to rein in the crowd, Bipin Bihari, additional director general of police (law and order), Maharashtra Police, told The Indian Express.
The other victim lost his life after the roof of his house, on which a petrol bomb was hurled, collapsed. Seven women were also injured in clashes. As per a PTI report, around 100 shops and 80 vehicles were set on fire by mob. Police have arrested 37 people for rioting and arson since last night.
Fifteen policemen were also injured in the violence. As per a police official, the violence erupted after a minor argument broke out between members of the two communities in city’s Gandhinagar area. The verbal spat started after a local fruit vendor refused to give free mangoes to some people who were reportedly drunk. The verbal spat led to a scuffle. Later, many of local shopkeepers downed their shutters, the report said.
A number of rumours led to stone pelting in the adjoining areas of Motikaranja, Raja Bazar, Shahgunj, Chelipura, Anguribagh, it added.
Reacting on the controversy, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said on Saturday evening the situation was under control. The district administration has clamped prohibitory orders under section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure banning assembly of people and suspended Internet services.
Some local sources told PTI that tension was brewing in Moti Karanja area for the last few days as the municipal corporation was carrying out a drive against illegal water connections.
The tensions further took a communal turn when authorities removed an illegal water connection at a place of worship, PTI reported.
Speaking on the incident, Minister of State for Home, Ranjit Patil, termed the loss of two lives as “very unfortunate”. Patil said there was riot-like situation from 10-11 PM, adding, the clashes erupted over a trivial issue of “parking a small vehicle”. He also appealed people to not to circulate rumours on social media.