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Section 144 imposed in Maharashtra Aurangabad

Section 144 has been imposed and Police have been deployed in Maharashtra's Aurangabad after clashes broke out between two groups Friday night. Clashes broke out when the Aurangabad Municipal Corporation cut water connection in the area, owing to non-clearance of bills. According to initial information, water connection was also cut at one of the religious places, after which things took a violent turn.

Around 50 shops were gutted in the clashes, and hundreds of youths took to the streets to pelt stones, as the issue turned into a communal clash. Police had to resort to teargas shelling to contain the situation. The clashes left many injured, including police personnel. However, the police are yet to confirm any death in the clashes.

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.