Aurangabad (Maharashtra): Trouble in Aurangabad, which saw communal clashes in May leading to the death of two Muslims in police firing, seems to be far from over. In a new headche for the police, the Aurangabad Crime Branch recovered a consignment of 30 weapons, including 12 swords and 16 knives, that were allegedly ordered online through the popular e-commerce firm Flipkart.
Citing Police Department The Indian Express reported that orders for most of the consignments were placed on May 16 by 24 local residents and the weapons reached a courier company’s office for delivery on May 21.
The orders were placed days after Aurangabad witnessed communal riots on May 11 and 12, 2018. The orders were placed under the categories of ‘toy swords’ and ‘kitchen appliances’, said police. The state’s Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) is also part of the probe, The Indian Express said in its report.
The Aurangabad Crime Branch seized eight parcels, which contained eight swords, a knife and a khukri (Nepalese knife), from a local office of the courier company on Tuesday. It later seized 18 parcels containing four swords, 15 knives and a traditional dagger from another office of the company. Eight customers who placed the orders have been arrested and the others are being probed, The Indian Express said citing police sources.
The police is now also exploring the possibility of levelling criminal conspiracy charges against Flipkart.
“We are exploring all legal options for booking Flipkart for providing and transporting, knowingly or unknowingly, such dangerous material. Today, they managed to buy choppers and knives, tomorrow it could be drugs or explosives or any other hazardous material. A line has to be drawn somewhere and responsibility needs to be fixed so that e-commerce portals take precautions", ADGP (Law and Order) Bipin Bihari said.
Earlier, fact finding teams after visiting the affected areas of the city observed that the May 2018 Aurangabad riots were planned.They said an hour before rioters started looting and setting ablaze properties and shops belonging to Muslims, electricity in the area was cut off and CCTV cameras were shut down.
"Petrol, kerosene, stones and catapult were used during riots, and were collected and stored on the terrace of multi-storey buildings”, the fact finding team said in its report.
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