Curfew continued in parts of Maharashtra’s Dhule town for the fourth day on Wednesday in the wake of communal violence and the subsequent police firing which claimed five lives even as a Maharashtra minister demanded a judicial inquiry into the incident.
“I am not satisfied with the handling of the situation and will seek a judicial inquiry into the incident,” Minority Affairs Minister Arif Naseem Khan said.
Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Javed Ahmed, who has arrived in the city, however, told reporters that a decision on judicial probe would be taken later.
“We can draw conclusions only after collecting all the vital information,” he said.
Mr Ahmed claimed that it was a rare incident in which such a large number of police officers and men had been injured. According to government sources, 19 police officers and 102 policemen had been wounded in the violence, which was allegedly triggered by a tiff over payment of hotel bills.
Meanwhile, Deputy Tehsildar Abdul Hamid Ansari, father of one of the victims killed in the firing, has claimed his son Asif was shot despite not being among the rioters.
“Asif did not indulge in violence. He was just standing by the roadside when the violence broke out. But police deliberately shot him,” Mr Ansari alleged.
The Minority Affairs Minister visited Madhavpura and Macchi Bazar, the violence-hit localities of the town to take stock of the situation and also went to the hospital to meet the injured.
Chairman of the State’s Minority Commission Munaf Hakim also held discussions with local politicians and said he would soon submit a report to the government.
Meanwhile, police have found a stockpile of empty bottles, acid-filled cans, kerosene, sticks and stones, kept on the terrace of a three-storey building in the area.
Police have registered cases under various sections of IPC against unidentified people for destruction of property and obstructing public servants in connection with the clashes but no arrests have been made so far.