Riot-hit Aurangabad limps back to normalcy; curbs remain

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The clashes have injured at least 10 policemen, including an assistant commissioner Govardhan Kolekar and a couple of police station chiefs.

The police arrested 19 more persons taking the total number of arrests made in connection with the riots that broke out in various parts of the historic city of Aurangabad in Maharashtra's Marathwada region on the intervening night of Friday and Saturday. This caused violence as the members of both communities in Motikaranja area began to fight each other, and the clashes erupted into a riot, as people set fire to shops and vehicles, while throwing stones at each other to cause harm and injury. Reports suggest that Police are suspecting the role of an independent corporator for instigating the violence. "Internet services have been snapped and prohibitory orders are in force, a police officer said". Hundreds of youth came out on the street and indulged in stone pelting last night. According to the reports, one casualty has come to light.

The police has registered six cases till now pertaining to rioting and arson, and officials said that more complainants are coming forward.

Opposition Congress state President Ashok Chavan called upon the people to maintain peace and "foil the nefarious designs of communal and divisive forces" trying to spread social unrest between communities.

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After the clash was reported, Mumbai police rushed to the spot and resorted to teargas shelling to disperse the warring crowds.

Meanwhile, Special Inspector General of Police (Aurangabad range) Milind Bharambe, who is officiating as Aurangabad Police Commissioner, said: "The situation has returned to normal now". Mr. Bansile's shop was among those torched by the rioters and he could not escape as he was disabled.

Tension escalated in the nearby areas of Gandhinagar, Moti Karanja and Rosa Bagh as well.

The state government deployed units of the State Reserve Police Force, Indian Reserve Battalion from the city, besides rushing forces from neighbouring Beed and Jalna to maintain peace. Petrol bombs and kerosenesoaked balls made of rags were found during a search operation, and more than a dozen people were taken into custody for interrogation, he said.

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