Communal clashes in Aurangabad over water, Sec 144 imposed

Two people died and more than 20 people were injured in the violence on Friday night.

An uneasy calm today prevailed in this central Maharashtra city where two persons were killed in clashes between groups of two communities over illegal water connections as police kept a tight vigil to avoid any untoward incident. Internet services have also been suspended in the region. Protestors set fire to around 100 shops and 80 vehicles. The violence was allegedly instigated by a city corporator, according to Times of India.

The clashes erupted in on Friday after water connection to a religious place of one particular community was reportedly disconnected. This soon flared up into rioting with stone-pelting and arson, targeting vehicles and shops.

While the actual reason behind the riots is yet to be ascertained, some reports indicate that the Aurangabad civic body, which embarked on a demolition drive of unauthorised tap connections, demolished one of the taps that belonged to a shrine.

Among those injured were seven women and a dozen policemen, including an assistant commissioner of police.

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The Maharashtra home minister appealed to "maintain peace and urged to not believe in rumours".

While senior police officers visited and reviewed the situation in the city, families of those who died in the clashes demanded action against the police. "We have deployed adequate police force in the area to avoid any untoward situation".

Several people took to social media to report on the clashes. Moreover, Section 144 was imposed in the city following the chaos and violence.

In another tweet he promised support to the ones who suffered loss of property in the clashes, while also ensuring them adequate legal help. It escalated due to rumours and the tensions spread.

Aurangabad CP Milind Bharambe appealed to protestors to maintain peace and not take law into their hands, he said, "I appeal to the citizens to maintain peace, do not take law in your own hands". The youths from different groups burned some shops and also attacking each other with some pelting stones.

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