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2 Dead, Shops And Vehicles Set On Fire During Aurangabad Clashes, Prohibitory Orders Imposed

Rioters hurl stones and sticks during a communal riot in Moti Karanja area of Aurangabad. — PTI

The worst-hit areas were Shahganj, Nawabpura, Rajabazaar and Angribaug which continued to remain calm but tense.

Web Report

AURANGABAD —  At least two persons died and more than 35 were injured, including 10 policemen, after clashes broke out between two groups in Maharashtra’s Aurangabad, an official said.

The violence, said to be of a communal nature, apparently erupted over a trivial matter and raged through Friday night with several small shops and a number of vehicles, including police vans, being set ablaze by rioters.

The actual reason for the rioting appears to be unclear. According to sources, the Aurangabad civic body had embarked on a demolition drive of unauthorized tap connections in the city’s Moti Karanja area.

One of these taps, that belonged to a shrine, was demolished in the process, leading members of one community to destroy a tap connection belonging to the other community, according to press reports.

This led to retaliation with members of both communities armed with sticks and other makeshift weaponry, having a street showdown in the Moti Karanja area.

The clashes soon flared up into rioting – many shops and vehicles were set on fire and there were incidents of stone throwing.

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. Prohibitory orders were subsequently imposed in the affected areas.

“There were losses on both sides, with shops of the minority as well as Hindu communities being ravaged by rioters. However, everything is under control now,” said the acting Aurangabad Commissioner of Police Milind Bharambe on Saturday, remarking that normalcy had largely been restored across the city.

“It was a small issue… It escalated due to rumours and the tensions spread… Some anti-social elements indulged in setting ablaze shops and vehicles in the locality,” Mr Bharambe told the media.

The worst-hit areas were Shahganj, Nawabpura, Rajabazaar and Angribaug which continued to remain calm but tense, according to reports.

Meanwhile, All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen President Asaduddin Owaisi appealed to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to take strong action against the troublemakers indulging in the rioting.

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