Four people have been killed and around 176 people - 63 locals and 113 policemen - injured after clashes broke out between members of two communities at Dhule in north Maharashtra, official sources said.
The violence started after a fight broke out at a street food stall and soon spread to Machibazar and Madhavpura areas of the city, they said, adding police used water cannons to disperse the mob.
"The clash between two communities broke out at around 3 pm yesterday. Police first resorted to lathicharge, and later firing. Some people were killed and others received minor injuries. The Rapid Action Force (RAF) and State Reserve Police personnel are there and the situation is peaceful right now," Deven Bharti, IG, Law and Order, Maharashtra said this morning.
Curfew was imposed in the area after violence and is still in place. Two cases have been registered against unknown people for rioting,
arson, destruction of public property and deterring a public servant
from discharging his duty.
Sources say the police had to resort to firing as the situation went out of control, adding that the deaths could be because of bullet injuries.
Post-mortem reports are awaited to ascertain the exact cause of death.
When contacted, Shiv Sena MLA from Dhule Sharad Patil told PTI that a police sub-inspector and an assistant police inspector were among those injured.
35-year-old man Kailash Waghare was seriously injured in the incident after being hit by a bullet and admitted to a local hospital, he said.(With inputs from PTI)