Sunday, 5 October 2008

Three killed in communal riot over torn posters in Maharashtra

Five persons died and neary 80 injured when two groups clashed in Dhule on Sunday. Curfew was clamped in the town and the situation was tense, police said.

The trouble began over a petty issue. A poster was allegedly torn up which led to tension, subsequent stone pelting and the clash which resulted in the deaths. Initial reports suggest that three persons died.

One of the dead was identified as Imran Sheikh. Two died in stone pelting and one was killed in the police firing. Later reports suggested that the toll had gone up to five.

An organisation Hindu Rakshak Sabha had put up inflammatory posters in Dhule (Dhulia). There were also on behalf of a local corporator Sabir Seth in the same area near Rajkamal Talkies. The exact circumstances were not clear but the news that some posters of Hindu Rakshak Sabha were found torn, led to tension.

Arson and stone pelting followed. Such was the intensity of the sudden riot that the police could hardly control it. Despite using tear gas and later firing in the air and at the mob, the riot had left several dead.

Nearly 100 persons were injured in the riot. Indefinite curfew has been imposed in the town, which is close to the communally hyper-sensitive Malegaon town. The riot over a minor issue puts a serious question mark on the ability of police in handling a law-and-order situation.

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