Curfew continued to be clamped in the worst affected Azad Nagar area of riot-hit Dhule township, 350 km from Mumbai, for the third consecutive day on Tuesday even as the death toll in the communal violence mounted to five.
Sources in the police department said an unidentified man who received a bullet injury, ostensibly in the police firing, died in hospital around 6.30am.
Prohibitory orders banning the assembly of five or more people were clamped elsewhere in the town with a population of around 400,000. “The curfew will continue till the law and order situation improves,” inspector general of police, Law and Order, Deven Bharti said. “We will find out how the violence started and spread so quickly.”
As per reports, the riots broke out over a trivial issue of payment of a restaurant bill. Arguments and fisticuffs soon led to full-scale violence.
Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan has ordered a probe by the district magistrate into the violence in which more than 200 people including over 100 police personnel were injured. The probe report will be submitted within two months.
Meanwhile, the Samajwadi Party state president and legislator Abu Asim Azmi denied making any provocative speech in Dhule recently. Azmi, however, maintained that the police were committing atrocities against Muslims time and again. “The action taken in the
Dhule riots is no different… The police cannot shoot people selectively.”