Aurangabad/ Pune: DGP Bipin Bihari, who is holding additional charge of law and order for the state and camping in Aurangabad since Saturday, said the response time of the police was slow as the riots went on from Friday night till Saturday morning.
The situation, however, is tense but calm in Aurangabad, according to police sources.
62 persons were injured in the riots. An elderly man died after a petrol bomb was hurled at his house, while a youth died after suffering injuries in police firing (teargas shells and rubber bullets). Over 100 shops and 40 vehicles were damaged in the old part of Aurangabad city.
“A high-level inquiry is on. The police failed to read the situation as the tensions were brewing there for the last 10 days. An inquiry is also on against the police inspector of City Chowk police station,” he added.
The situation remained tense but calm in Shahgunj, Rajabazaar and Moti Karanja localities on Sunday. Heavy police bandobast has been deployed. Shops remained closed for the second day on Sunday. People from two communities had come face to face again in Nawabpura and Rajabazaar areas but the police used force to disperse them.
BJP State President Raosaheb Danve, who held a press conference after visiting the riot-affected areas, said, “The police are doing panchnama of damage suffered by people. They will be provided relief by the state. As per the directions of the chief minister, additional forces have been deployed and the situation is under control.”
Aurangabad District Guardian Minister Deepak Sawant and Minister of State (Home) Ranjit Patil also visited the riot-affected areas.
“Strict action will be taken against those found guilty. At present, it is not clear why the riots erupted,” he said.
Leader of Opposition Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, who also visited the riot-affected areas, said, “There is a part-time home minister in the state, hence criminals are working full time. People are suffering because of failure of the state.
“They should be given compensation. The government must constitute an inquiry as per the Commission of Inquiry Act.”
ASI Sanjay Bankar (52), who reached the Gandhinagar Raviwar Bazaar on Friday night, in his complaint stated, “About 250 people from both communities were standing face to face armed with sticks, swords and stones. The issue snowballed as some youths were not allowed to speak on phones.” Police Inspector Hemant Kadam of City Chowk police station, who was injured in the riots, in his complaint stated, “About 1,500 people from one community and 500 from other gathered near Ganpati Chowk around 1 am. Some activists were inciting people who were throwing stones at each other.”
25 arrested, 2,407 persons booked
FIRs have been registered against 2,407 persons while, 25 have been arrested for rioting, arson and murder, loot.