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Jan 09, 2013 at 11:27am IST

Dhule riot: Police shot dead many young innocent men, allege residents

Dhule: Mistrust in police has seeped within people after communal clashes broke out in Dhule - a northern town in Maharashtra - on Sunday. Residents claim that police shot dead many young innocent men during the riot.

Parveen Rais Patel, who lost her 17-year-old son in the riot, remains inconsolable. She had sent her eldest son to the market to buy household items but he never returned. Saud Rais Patel is one of the five people who lost their lives in the Dhule riot. "He had gone out to buy chicken. Later, I got a call which said he has been shot dead. He had no links with the riot," says the mother.

Parveen Rais Patel is not the only one who is accusing police of atrocities during the violence. Another woman, Nafisa, says that her house was set ablaze during the violence but nobody came to her rescue. "The tailor next door came and set my house afire. But nobody came to save us. All my jewellery was also stolen," she claims. Eight-five-year-old Jaibun Nisa also has a similar story to narrate. She claims that people entered her house and started beating them up.

Dhule, however, isn't new to such clashes. The Maharashtra town witnessed similar clashes ahead the last municipal elections. "Every morning when we came out, we were worried if we would return home or not. There isn't a divide between Hindus and Muslims but there are problem creators," says Dr Asif Patel, a resident.

The collateral damage of Sunday's riot has been huge. There are heart-wrenching stories of families who have lost their entire savings and whose houses have been charred beyond recognition. The incident seems to have left behind a deep wound in the minds of Dhule residents.