Following allegations of atrocities by the police in the violence that broke out in Dhule on Sunday, and demands for a judicial probe by Congress ministers in the state cabinet meeting, home minister RR Patil on Wednesday said the state will assess whether or not the police used excessive force while trying to bring the situation under control.
The home department will receive an initial report from the additional director general of police (law and order) Javed Ahmed, who has been stationed at Dhule since Sunday.
“It is clear that the clash was not pre-planned as is being portrayed. The differences came up on a trivial issue and blew out of proportion. The local police controlled the violence within three hours,” said Patil.
The violence has so far claimed 5 lives and left nearly 200 people — including police personnel — injured.
Patil added, “There was no targeting [of a particular community] of any sort. But if there are allegations of force being used, we will ask for an in-depth investigation, once we get Ahmed’s report on Thursday,” he said.
Meanwhile, in the state cabinet meeting, minorities minister Naseem Khan and health minister Suresh Shetty demanded a high-level judicial probe in the clashes.
Khan told chief minister Prithviraj Chavan that the affected-families were not happy with the way local police had targetted them. He demanded compensation for the kin of the dead, injured and those whose property was damaged.
Sources from the minorities department said Khan had warned the government against communal forces that have triggered four violent incidents in two months.
Chavan discussed the riots while addressing Congress leaders at a party meeting on Wednesday. “Please remember that the communal forces always try to engage people in such unsavoury incidents ahead of the elections,” he said.