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Aurangabad riots: Shiv Sena accuses MIM of ‘disturbing peace’

The Aurangabad riots began over illegal water connections and took on a communal colour, claiming two lives   | Photo Credit: Yogesh Londhe

Pune: Shiv Sena MP Chandrakant Khaire on Tuesday accused the Asaduddin Owaisi-led Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) of disturbing peace in Aurangabad last week, and said his party had helped prevent further loss to property and life.

Aurangabad has been quiet since 1989, but the AIMIM has consistently tried to aggravate tensions, charged Mr. Khaire.

“We helped ensure that injured police personnel received medical attention,” Mr. Khaire said, claiming that it was the Shiv Sainiks who had rushed to the riot-afflicted spots in an attempt to reassure frightened residents who called for help.

The MIM and the Sena, are bitter political adversaries in the city, especially after Mr. Owaisi’s party won 25 seats in the Aurangabad Municipal Corporation in 2015 to emerge as the major opposition to the BJP-Sena combine, which controls the AMC. The MIM, with its Muslim-Dalit formula, won votes previously held by the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party.

“Last week’s riots were communal in nature and pre-meditated. There were several instances where shops were torched with petrol bombs. Where was Congress leader [Radhakrishna] Vikhe-Patil when all this was taking place?” asked Mr. Khaire, who led a delegation to acting Police Commissioner Milind Bharambe. Earlier, Mr. Vikhe-Patil had lambasted the Sena and the BJP, for permitting the riots to spread while demanding Mr. Khaire’s arrest for his remarks on the violence.

Interrogated, detained

Meanwhile on Tuesday, a Special Investigation Team (SIT) constituted to investigate the Aurangabad riots detained a Shiv Sena corporator in connection with the clashes which left two persons dead last week.

Rajendra Janjal, leader of the house in AMC, was interrogated by SIT at the city’s Kranti Chowk police station. A police team had earlier searched Mr. Janjal’s house in Shivajinagar.

This is the first major detention in this case. Since the riots, the police has registered six cases against more than 2,500 unidentified persons, booking them for offences like arson, rioting and damaging public property under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

The police also restored internet services on Tuesday morning and revoked Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (prohibiting an assembly of more than four persons in an area) that had been imposed to stall further law and order incidents.

The riots, which allegedly began over illegal water connections, rapidly took on a communal colour and engulfed the old part of Aurangabad, claiming the lives of a 17-year-old, and a man in his 60s, besides leaving more than 50 persons injured and resulting in massive damage to property.

The violence raged for several hours on the intervening night of Friday and Saturday last week with areas of Moti Karanja, Gandhi Nagar, Nawabpura, Shahaganj being among the worst afflected.

In the aftermath of the riots, an unverified clip allegedly demonstrating the ‘involvement’ of some local police personnel with the rioters has surfaced.

Additional Director-General of Police Bipin Bihari has said the footage would be authenticated and an inquiry conducted against the guilty.

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Printable version | Sep 23, 2021 12:17:11 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/aurangabad-riots-shiv-sena-accuses-mim-of-disturbing-peace/article23897024.ece

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