After Indian Express report, 6 Dhule cops arrested for rioting

Dhule

Days after The Indian Express published pictures of police breaking open and looting a stall during the Dhule riots of January 6, six local policemen have been arrested for the crime.

The six men — four State Reserve Police (SRP) personnel and two police constables — were arrested on Friday and charged with theft and dishonestly breaking open property under IPC Sections 380 and 461. If convicted, they face up to seven years in prison.

The day after the publication of the report and pictures on January 26, Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan had acknowledged the presence of "communal elements" in the police. The Indian Express subsequently published (January 30) pictures of policemen firing above the waist in contravention of the police manual, and posted the video on www.indianexpress.com.

The SRP personnel have been identified as Liladhar Sonawane, Ganesh Patil, Chabulal Vende and D S Sonawane; the police constables are Jawahar Pawar and Yogesh Shinde. Dhule police have also arrested two others — Vijay Shankar and Mahesh Khairnar — who are believed to be employees of local news channels. One accused seen in the clip is yet to be identified.

Six Muslim men were killed in police firing after a small quarrel at a roadside eatery escalated into rioting in the town. Police initally said the rioters had specifically targeted them.

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