Bhiwandi riots: Four held from Malegaon

The police on Tuesday night arrested four persons from Malegaon in connection with the Bhiwandi rioting case. Residents of Bala Compound in Bhiwandi, Yusuf Hussain Ansari (32) and Salman Ijaz Ahmad Ansari (18), and residents of Nizampura, Javed Akhtar Abdul Rahim and Sajid Hussain Ansari, who were absconding since the July 5 riots, were picked up from Garib Nawaz hotel in Malegaon during a combing operation.

On July 5, police opened fire on a group of people comprising mostly members of religious organisation Raza Academy opposing the construction of a police station adjacent to the Quarter Gate mosque in the heart of the town. They claimed that the plot is a burial ground for the community. Two persons were killed in police firing and at least 25, mostly policemen, were injured in stone pelting as the police and Bhiwandi residents clashed.

All four accused they were wanted in three cases, including rioting have been handed over to the Bhiwandi police. Incidentally, they were arrested from a region where the last rites of two of the policemen Ramesh Jagtap and Balasaheb Gangurde, who were lynched in the riots, were held.

Jagtap and Gangurde were patrolling the area on a bike when it skidded. They fell and were spotted by a mob, that killed them, threw them inside a state transport bus, that was then torched.

In 1984 Bhiwandi witnessed bloody riots in which 200 people had been killed. But since then there has been no such incident even during the 1992 and 1993 riots.

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