Two dead, 35 injured in Aurangabad clashes over water connections

first_imgAt least two persons lost their lives and more than 35, including several police personnel, were seriously injured after violent clashes between two groups in Maharashtra’s Aurangabad district on Friday night.The district administration has clamped Section 144 and suspended Internet services in the city to prevent further violence.The deceased have been identified as 62-year-old Jaganlal Bansile of the Shahaganj area and Abdul Kadri,17, who allegedly died from a gunshot wound in police firing. Mr. Bansile’s shop was among those torched by the rioters and he could not escape as he was disabled.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 police to fire in the air and lob teargas shells, an official said.Corporation crackdownTensions escalated after the Aurangabad Municipal Corporation cracked down on illegal water connections in the Moti Karanja area. In the drive, a tap at a shrine belonging to a community was removed. In retaliation, members of the community destroyed the water connection at the shrine of another community.The incident resulted in clashes across the city through the night with several shops and vehicles, including police vans, being set ablaze by rioters. At least 10 policemen were injured, including Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Govardhan Kolekar and in-charge of Kranti Chowk Police Station, Inspector Shrikant Paropkari, police sources said.The condition of ACP Kolekar, who was admitted to hospital after sustaining serious injuries in the stone-pelting, is said to be serious.Speaking in Pune, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis promised stern action against those responsible for instigating the clashes while lauding police authorities for bringing a potentially explosive situation under quick control.“16-17 persons have been detained by the police in connection with the riots. We are scrutinising the footage obtained from different points in the city. The clashes were engineered by certain anti-social elements and we appeal to residents not to believe in rumours doing the rounds on Whatsapp and other social media,” said Minister of State for Home Ranjit Patil.Additional forces“The clashes soon snowballed and spread to several other areas in Aurangabad city like Shahaganj and Chelipara. 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.Mr. Bharambe said police units had been brought in from adjoining districts.“The riots erupted over a banal issue. I urge the city’s residents not to place faith in rumours,” Aurangabad Mayor, Nandkumar Ghodele said.last_img