Home Minster R R Patil said on Monday the police were looking into claims that inflammatory speeches by MIM leader Akbaruddin Owaisi played a role in fanning the Dhule riots of January 6 in which six Muslims died in police firing.
Leader of the Opposition Eknath Khadse raised the issue in the Legislative Assembly on Monday and wanted to know if there was any connection between the riots and Owaisis alleged inflammatory speech.
The police will inspect all aspects of the case and what caused the riots, Patil said while replying to Khadse.
Patil also informed the House that Justice Shrikant Malte,a former Bombay High Court judge,would conduct an inquiry into the riots.
Local Muslims had complained of police excesses and claimed that the policemen had deliberately shot dead the six. The state had taken cognisance of the police high-handedness and suspended two policemen soon after the riots. It was later forced to arrest six policmen after video footage emerged in which the policemen were seen to have been rioting as well as looting. Incidentally,Muslim youths in Dhule have claimed that Owaisis clips are being used by the police to deflect blame for the riots.
Till the riots occurred,many of the locals did not even know who Owaisi was. His clips were not in circulation till after the riots, said Wahid Kakar,a social activist and resident of Dhule.Meanwhile,taking umbrage to the compensation being provided to the families of the deceased,Shiv Sena leader Subhash Desai claimed that they were rioters.