The Aurangabad district administration imposed curfew for an hour on Monday. It was the result of communal clashes breaking out for the second consecutive day in the district HQ town. According to the latest reports, around 60 people, including policemen, were injured in the riots. Reports also claimed that rioters set ablaze around 50 shops near Jama Masjid on old GT Road in Aurangabad.
How it began?
According to police the procession had proper permission and was passing through its pre-determined route around 2 pm. When it was passing by a mosque, some anti-social elements pelted stones on the procession. It was followed by gun fire and bomb blasts. As the news spread, it led to retaliation in other parts of the town.
Here is a video made by a localite.
The rioting mob torched a generator set outside a hotel. It also set more than two dozen small and big shops on fire in the Sabzi Bazaar area. In Maharajganj locality, another mob of rioters plundered five shops. It also attacked business establishments and residential properties located in Sinha Social club, Nawadih, Ganj Mohalla and Ramesh Chowk. Rioters also blazed few shops near the collectorate, a garage near Tikri Mor and at least a couple of shops near Karma Road.
How the authorities reacted?
District magistrate Rahul Ranjan Mahiwal and superintendent of police Dr Satya Prakash rushed to the trouble spots in order to bring the situation under control. Soon, a government vehicle moved in the localities announcing the imposition of curfew and shoot-at-sight orders. CRPF personnel also used mild lathi charge to disperse the rioting mobs.
Mahiwal, however, said curfew was not imposed. He said the administration issued prohibitory orders under Section 144 in the entire town. Though some sources said that the curfew was imposed around 4pm and lifted around 5pm after the town limped back to normal.
War of Words in the Assembly
Leader of Opposition, Tejashwi Yadav, made the allegations when state minister Vijender Yadav was reading out the government’s reply to the debate on the budgetary allocation for the home department.
A visibly upset chief minister, Nitish Kumar, rose to intervene and said that the floor of the House must not be used to give publicity to rumors which could aggravate communal tensions.
“If you (Tejashwi) try to give vent to rumours through the House, it vitiates the atmosphere…Please don’t do such things,” he said.