Two persons have lost their lives and over 40 people - including assistant commissioner Govardhan Kolekar - have been injured after violent clashes broke out in the city of Aurangabad, Maharashtra, on Friday (May 11). To keep the situation under control, the police have imposed section 144 in the area, prohibiting the assembly of more than four people in Aurangabad. As a precautionary measure, Internet services were suspended. "Some anti inflammatory aspects indulged in putting ablaze shops and vehicles in the locality", Mr Bharambe informed the press.
At least 51 people including 10 police officials were injured in the riots.
The police is said to have resorted to lathicharge to control the rioting mobs, and when that didn't work, also used teargas and light firing. The police who arrived on the scene sought to bring situation under control.
Aurangabad CP Milind Bharambe appealed people to maintain peace and warned of strict action against those found breaking curfew.
Rioters set fire to around 100 shops and 80 vehicles, the official said, adding that 37 persons have been arrested for rioting and arson since last night.
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According to the police, a "minor" argument broke out between members of two communities in Gandhinagar area which resulted in downing of shutters by many local shopkeepers.
The worst-hit areas were Shahganj, Nawabpura, Rajabazaar and Angribaug which continued to remain calm but tense.
Meanwhile, units of Indian Reserve Batallion (IRB) and companies of State Reserve Police Force (SRPF) has been deployed in the Aurangabad city and neighbouring areas. "I urge the city's residents not to place faith in rumours", said Aurangabad Mayor Nandkumar Ghodele, on Saturday.
Aurangabad police commissioner Yashasvi Yadav was sent on compulsory leave in March this year due to his alleged failure to handle a riot-like situation in the city over the garbage disposal issue.
In wake of the clash, Asaduddin Owaisi, President of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen said his party will provide all the necessary aid. After seeing the condition in the city, Maharashtra Police has imposed Section 144 in the city.