At least twenty persons were injured, three of them in police firing, as thousands of protestors took to streets pelting stones and torching state transport buses, venting their anger at the desecration of the statue of Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar in Kanyalal Nagar locality of neighbouring Jalna district early morning on Tuesday. Though police denied clamping curfew, the whole town, a major commercial hub of the state, bore a deserted look, throughout the day.
The situation had been defused to a great extent by afternoon but the police is still on high alert with reports that the incident had some repercussion in the adjoining Badnapur tehsil.
Jalna district Superintendent of police, Chiranjeev Prasad, talking to Hindustan Times, said, thousands of people poured onto the streets within moments of somebody seeing the statute garlanded with chappals in the densely Dalit populated locality of Kanyalal Nagar at about 6.15 am on Tuesday.
By the time the police reached the spot, at about 6.25 am, the mob had already a torched a few buses and was pelting stones in a way that there was little possibility to engage the agitators in a dialogue. "There was no alternative but to fire," Chiranjeev Prasad said, describing the stone pelting as 'extremely violent and intense'.
According to the police the irate mob had set ablaze at least 15 state transport buses and a fire tender that had been rushed to the area.
Senior government officials and police personnel who rushed to the spot were particularly singled out by the agitators. TR Singh, deputy superintendent of police, sustained severe injuries on his head and has been admitted to a incensive care unit, while additional SP, Rajendra Dahale, Sub Divisional magistrate, Vijay Waghmare, have also sustained injuries police said.
Meanwhile senior officials from Aurangabad, commissioner of police Uddhav Kamble and the Special Inspector General of Aurangabad range, Bhagwantrao More, have also rushed to Jalna to assess the situation.