इंडियन आवाज़     29 Nov 2023 07:58:12      انڈین آواز

One killed, several injured in communal clash near Nashik


nashikOne person was killed in police firing while 30 police personnel including three senior officers were injured in stonepelting when the police tried to control an angry mob indulging in violence at Harsul village in Trimbak tehsil, 60 kms from Nashik in north Maharashtra on Tuesday. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and union Home minister Rajnath Singh were in the city to participate in ongoing Kumbh Mela.

After failing to control rioting mob by lathi-charge and tear gas, the police opened fire on the mob, injuring 26-year-old Ramdas Buth, who later succumbed to bullet injuries at the local hospital, police sources said.

Additional Superintendent of police Prashant Mohite and Deputy Superintendent of Police Pravin Munde were among 30-odd police personnel injured in the stone throwing by the rioters.

According to local reports the reason for the communal flare up was related to the death of a tribal youth identified as Bhagirath Choudhary whose body was found in a well on July 7. The community had called for a bandh on Tuesday which took a communal turn, leading to violence and arson. The police had to rush additional reinforcements.

The incident occurred after tribals, who constitute nearly 60 per cent of the town’s population, took out a morcha demanding police action against a local Muslim over the death of a youth on July 7. The body of Bhagirath Tulshiram Chowdhury, a resident of Bhondarmal — a hamlet two kilometers away from Trimbakeshwar town, was found in the well of a farmer, Rizwan Akhtar.

An autopsy had cited drowning as the cause of death. However, Chowdhury’s family members suspected foul play and wanted the police to book Akhtar for murder. The mob led by Chowdhury’s family and local tribal leaders reportedly congregated at the town square at 9 am Tuesday and started attacking Muslim establishments. Over 20 shops belonging to Muslims and an equal number of houses were attacked and looted.

Local Muslims said they had anticipated a violence and many of them had sent their families to safer places on Monday night.

There had been tension in the town since yesterday and there was an inkling that riots could break out. Local Muslims had demanded police protection but it was not given,” said  a local Muslim.

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