Police have ordered an investigation into the involvement of police personnel in the communal riots that started in the city late on Friday night, on the basis of a video that shows cops accompanying rioters who were torching vehicles and property. Internet services in the Aurangabad city are suspended.
According to TOI and ABP News, a video clip that appears to have been recorded in the early hours of Saturday from a window of a roadside building clearly shows a group of around 10 policemen walking with the rioters, who were carrying some material which they used to torch vehicles.
On Friday, clashes ensued between 2 groups after illegal water connection to a ‘religious place’ was reportedly disconnected. Several parts of the city witnessed youths from two groups taking to streets and attacking each other with some pelting stones. Several vehicles were also burnt. A 17-year old boy and a senior citizen were killed and property worth an estimated Rs 100 crore damaged in the communal violence that rocked the old city area from Friday night to Saturday morning.
Over the past few years, the number of instances in which Internet access was blocked for entire regions by the Indian Government has been steadily climbing. These “Internet shutdowns” are usually instituted as responses to conflict situations, This rise in frequency and broadening of reasons behind shutdowns, even in the face of strong international condemnation of the practice, are causes for concern as they not only threaten the democratic working of nations but also point to the gradual normalization of the mindset that permits such blanket restriction on Internet access.
Though the footage did not circulate on social media as internet services in the city were suspended, it has left the Police Administration and Home Ministry red-faced.
Now it’s up to Home Ministry to look into this issue at the highest priority. India has seen very bad examples of such events where CM of the state was accused to kept mum while one of the horrific riots in Indian history was going on in his state. Are we repeating our mistakes again? CM Devendra Fadnavis should answer this by punishing the culprits and the masterminds behind these unfortunate events.