Dhule rioters in uniform: CM blames ‘some communal elements’ in police


A day after The Indian Express reported that video clips showed police destroying private property and looting shops in the north Maharashtra town of Dhule during violence earlier this month, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said there were "some communal elements" in the state police too and this needed to be handled with great sensitivity.

"I have seen the clips that you have written about. Unfortunately, there are some communal elements lurking around in the police too. We have to handle this issue sensitively," Chavan told The Sunday Express.

He said the violence in Dhule on January 6 eventually turned out to be a fight between the Muslim community and the police. "The police did not register a complaint when two parties (who fought over a small food bill) approached them. This led to riots between the Hindu and Muslim communities and the police too were attacked," he said.

The state government has already ordered a judicial inquiry into the Dhule riots in which police firing killed six persons, all Muslim youth.

"The inquiry will find out everything," Chavan said. The state will take stern action against those who indulged in such activities, he said.

Senior government officials, however, said the judicial commission will take a while to submit a report.

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