Press Trust of india

Aurangabad riots: Muslim MLAs from Maha protest at Mantralaya

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Mumbai, May 22: Several MLAs from the Muslim community, cutting across party lines, today protested against the alleged involvement of Shiv Sena party workers and police personnel in the Aurangabad riots.

These legislators claimed that Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis did not meet them despite giving an appointment.

Fadnavis, however, told PTI that the legislators had not sought his appointment in advance, adding that he has asked them to meet him either tonight or tomorrow.

Samajwadi party MLA Abu Asim Azmi, Congress MLAs Amin Patel, Abdul Sattar, Aslam Shaikh and Malegaon Central MLAAsif Shaikh, MIM’s Waris Pathan and Imtiyaz Jaleel were among those who sat on the steps of Mantralaya, the state’s secretariat, in protest.

“We wanted to apprise the Chief Minister of the situation in Aurangabad. He had asked all the legislators to meet him at 12:30pm. Despite the MLAs coming from different places, we were told that he was busy with official work,” SPMLA Abu Azmi told PTI.

Azmi added that the legislators had come with video recordings of the riots which clearly show that, along with Sena leaders, some police officers had also instigated the riots.

Azmi demanded that the families of those who died in the riots be given Rs 50 lakh as compensation while those who were injured be paid Rs 1 lakh.

He also demanded that those whose properties had been destroyed in the riots be rehabilitated and adequate compensation be provided to them.

MIM MLA Imtiyaz Jaleel questioned why no action had been taken against police personnel who are seen in the video grabs instigating violence.

“We demand that they be suspended immediately and booked under relevant sections of the IPC. Action shouldalso be taken against the Shiv Sainiks who were part of the riots,” he said.

Jaleel further said the Chief Minister has asked the protesting legislators to meet him at Varsha, the chief minister’s official residence, tonight.

Responding to charges levelled by the Opposition MLAs, Fadnavis said, “They did not inform me that they were coming and I was not in my (Mantralaya) office when they had come. However, I informed them that they may come tonight or tomorrow.”

Two persons were killed and more than 60 were injured in clashes between groups of two communities over illegal water connections in Aurangabad, about 350 kilometres from Mumbai, on May 11.

Around 100 shops were set on fire and more than 40 vehicles destroyed in the violence.

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