After violent clashes between two communities in the Maharashtra town of Dhule caused police firing and ended with five deaths, police have now started investigating the role of hate speeches made by Muslim politicians ahead of Municipal elections in the town.
“We have inputs of a few Muslim politicians inciting a crowd in Dhule and allegedly telling them to attack policemen and officers at the next opportunity. We do not know the reason behind this, but this will be probed,” an Indian Express report quotes Director General of Police Sanjeev Dayal as saying.
Abu Azmi, Mumbai unit president of the Samajwadi Party, who is said to have been leading the politicians told Indian Express, “I don’t remember the context of the speech made. I would not use words like these. I said the police are being unfair to Muslims. Innocent men are being put behind bars. The Government should do something. Police should get punished. This is what I say everywhere and I am sure I said the same in Dhule in October 2012.”
Dayal said, “Over 113 policemen were attacked, with 48 seriously injured and admitted. The superintendent has incurred four stitches on his cheek. ASP and deputy SP were attacked by a mob in a narrow alley with stones and all sorts of things.”
According to police, four persons, including a teenager, were killed while 200 others were injured in the violence that happened on Sunday. Seven of the injured were reported to be in a critical condition. Machhi Bazaar, which was the epicentre of the violence was placed under curfew on Monday. Violence erupted after a minor tiff over non-payment of a hotel bill.
News of hate speeches having triggered the violence in Dhule comes close on the heels of the uproar over Akbaruddin Owaisi’s hate speeches made in Hyderabad. Owaisi, who has been making insulting speeches and inciting violence for a long time in his Constituency Chandrayangutta, has been under the scanner since last week after a video clip of one of his recent speeches went viral on the web.