Aurangabad (Maharashtra): At least one person has been killed and more than 35 injured, including 10 policemen, when clashes broke out between two groups in this famed tourist town, an official said.
The clashes erupted late on Friday following a trivial issue of removal of illegal water connections belonging to members of a particular community in Motikaranja area. They soon flared up into rioting with stone-pelting, torching vehicles and shops.
Police forces were rushed to the locality but they failed to control the violence and resorted to caning and firing teargas shells and plastic bullets to quell the rampaging crowds. Prohibitory orders were subsequently imposed in the affected areas.
Aurangabad Police Commissioner Milind Bharambe said there were two rounds of violence, one Friday evening followed by another on Saturday, but "now the situation is under control."
"It was a small issue... It escalated due to rumours and the tensions spread... Some anti-social elements indulged in setting ablaze shops and vehicles in the locality," Bharambe told the media.
The worst-hit areas were Shahganj, Nawabpura, Rajabazaar and Angribaug which continued to remain calm but tense.
The state government deployed units of the State Reserve Police Force, Indian Reserve Battalion from the city, besides rushing forces from neighbouring Beed and Jalna to maintain peace.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has been apprised of the matter while Minister of State for Home Deepak Kesarkar is rushing to Aurangabad to take stock of the situation, an official said in Mumbai.
Meanwhile, All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen President Asaduddin Owaisi appealed to Fadnavis to take strong action against the miscreants indulging in the rioting.
Located in the Marathwada region of the state, Aurangabad is world-renowned for the famous Ajanta-Ellora Caves, Bibi Ka Maqbara and other historical landmarks.