Three persons were killed and 82 injured as two groups clashed in north Maharashtra’s Dhule town, prompting authorities to clamp curfew.
Of the three deceased, two were killed in stone-pelting and the third allegedly in police firing, T.K. Khot, civil surgeon at Dhule Civil Hospital, said. The injured included Additional Collector M.Y. Patel, eight policemen and two women.
Trouble started in the afternoon when some people, belonging to a particular community, allegedly tore down banners of the Hindu Rakshan Samiti asking people to attend a public meeting at Ram Mandir Chowk in the town, police said. As a clash ensued, rioters pelted stones, looted shops and torched vehicles in several areas.
The police used teargas shells and fired in the air to disburse them. Subsequently, curfew was imposed.
Additional police personnel, including state reserve police from Nandurbar and Dhule, have been deployed in the trouble-torn areas. The NCP MLA from Dhule, Rajvardhan Kadambande, confirmed a dispute over banners by a Hindu organisation had led to the clashes and anti-social elements had taken advantage of the situation by indulging in stone-pelting and arson. He urged the people to remain calm and assist the local administration.