At least one person died and more than 35 were injured, including 10 policemen, after clashes broke out between two groups in Maharashtra's Aurangabad, an official said. Internet services were also suspended. Several police officers have also been reported to be severely injured in the clashes. "However, everything is under control now", said the acting Aurangabad Commissioner of Police Milind Bharambe on Saturday, remarking that normalcy had largely been restored across the city. The police who arrived on the scene sought to bring situation under control.
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. Riotous mobs set shops and cars on fire - almost 50 vehicles and as many shops were set ablaze. The deceased include a 60-year-old man and a 17-year old boy.
On the reasons behind the flare-up, several triggers are bandied about, including selective disconnection of illegal water connections belonging to members of a particular community, an altercation between a mango seller and a customer, and other localized issues.
The first clash between the two communities occurred around 10 pm, and before long, the violence had spread to other parts of the city as well.
People should not circulate rumours on social media, he added.
According to sources, a petty row over clamping illegal water connection in a religious place in Moti Karanja area escalated into a communal riot. The clashes left many injured, including police personnel. He said: "I would like to appeal to the people of Aurangabad to remain peaceful and not taken law unto themselves".
The police said that the worst-hit areas were Shahganj, Nawabpura, Rajabazaar and Angoribaug. They also burned some vehicles. According to the sources, there was some bickering going on between two groups for the last few weeks in the city which took a violent turn on Friday.
In response to the violence, All India Majlis-e-Muslimeen chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Saturday appealed to Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to initiate a probe into the violence between two groups.