Refusing to term the the Dhule clash as communal, Shiv Sena legislator Divakar Raote on Thursday said that the violence was a result of a battle between the Muslim community and the police.
The tiff allegedly began over the payment of bill at a restaurant in Azad Nagar on Sunday. More than 200 people were injured in the riots, while five were killed in the subsequent police firing. Around 19 police officers and 102 policemen too were injured in the violence.
Raote, who led the 14-member team to Dhule, said: “The attack on the police personnel seemed planned.” He said that he suspected the involvement of people with vested interests in providing acid bulbs and sharp weapons to the attackers. “We wonder if the acid bulbs and weapons were stored well in advance,” said Raote.
The Sena team has demanded a probe by the crime investigation department or the anti-terrorism squad into the incident.
“We strongly suspect that some people were influenced by the hate speech of Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) leader from Hyderabad, Akbaruddin Owasi, to target the police with lethal weapons. The magistrate or judicial officer will only give their report to the government, after which no action will be taken. Only the CID and the ATS can nail the culprits,” said Raote.
Condoling the death of Muslim youths in the incident, he said, “We demand compensation for the kin of the dead and injured. We also want the government to help all the people affected in the riots.”
Sensitive parts in Dhule continued to remain under curfew on the fifth day after the violence. Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan had said on Wednesday that the local authorities would take stock of the situation before allowing Sena politicians in the town.
Home minister RR Patil said that he had not received a report from additional director general of police (law and order) Javed Ahmed.
Sena opposes dialogue with Pakistan
The Shiv Sena called the UPA government at the Centre “senseless” for engaging in a dialogue with the Pakistani government despite the brutal killing of two Indian Army soldiers on the Line of Control.
“The government should not engage in dialogue with Pakistan. Instead, we should give a befitting reply,” said Sena leader Subhash Desai.