Maharashtra’s Dhule riot toll climbs to four, town peaceful



Dhule: The toll in the riots in Maharashtra's Dhule town has climbed to four with one more person dying of bullet injuries early Monday, police said.

A police official said the situation following Sunday's clashes was "peaceful and under control" and prohibitory orders had been imposed in some parts of Dhule, around 350 km from Mumbai.

At least 70 people, including 20 policemen, were injured in the communal clashes that broke out over the payment of a food bill. All the injured are undergoing treatment in various hospitals in the town.

Police said the riot was triggered after a youth refused to pay the food bill in a restaurant at the town's Fish Market Square area and was thrashed by the owner.

After a short while, the youth returned with some friends and arguments and fisticuffs ensued. Within minutes, there was full-scale communal rioting in the area.

Police rushed to the spot but were unprepared to handle the situation and had a hard time protecting themselves from the stones, bricks, bottles and other items hurled at them.

After reinforcements were rushed to the scene, the authorities finally managed to control the situation by bursting teargas shells and opening fire on the rioters.

Dhule had earlier witnessed a communal conflagration in October 2008 when a police outpost was torched by a mob and curfew was imposed in the town for a week.

IANS