Fear continues to grip Khargone city days after communal clashes resulted in several houses being set ablaze and more than 150 being arrested for rioting. With the ongoing curfew bringing life to a standstill, many people have chosen to leave the city.
On the night of October 22, after a dispute over route of processions of two communities escalated, dozens of houses were set ablaze and more than 20 people were injured from both sides in the clash.
An additional superintendent of police and three other police personnel were injured in the stone pelting. The administration imposed curfew in the city the same night to prevent further escalation of the matter.
After the incident, numerous residents of Tawadi Mohalla, the area that witnessed the worst of the clash, have left the area. ”We don’t know where these families went after the clashes,” said Subham, a resident of the area.
Another resident, Gyarisi Bai said, “We were at the shop of Hazi Chacha when more than two dozen of masked men came and set his house on fire, among others. We had to throw all our gas cylinders into the Kunda river to prevent an explosion.”
Fearing further rioting, “members of both the communities met senior police officials and requested extra police force be deployed in the area,” according to Anwar Khan, a resident of Tawadi Mohalla.
People here feel the violence was the result of gross failure of the administration as the matter was brewing since Navami, but it took the matter lightly.
On Tuesday, the curfew was lifted for six hours and no incidents were reported. ADG and IG Vipin Maheswari, while speaking to media persons in Khargone, said everything was under control and that extra police force would be deployed in the worst-affected areas to prevent any untoward incident.
Police said they have arrested more 25 people, including three known criminals from Malegaon, from Kazipura Mohalla on the day of riots for plotting to flare tensions in the city.