MUMBAI // A row over an unpaid restaurant bill escalated into violent clashes between Hindus and Muslims that left four people dead and 175 injured, police said yesterday.
The unrest broke out in Dhule in Maharashtra state on Sunday.
Deven Bharti, a police official, said the four people who died were killed by police fire, and 113 officers were among the injured.
"The situation is now peaceful and under control," he added. He also confirm that the violence had started with a quarrel over an unpaid food bill.
Police said the clashes broke out after a young man refused to pay at a restaurant at the town's Fish Market Square area and was thrown out by the owner.
The man returned with friends and a fight broke out. Within minutes, there was full-scale rioting in the area, police said.
When police arrived, the rioters threw the stones, bricks, bottles and missiles at them, and officers fired their weapons in response. Officials were last night maintaining a curfew imposed at the scene of the clashes.
Riots between Hindus and Muslims in Dhule in October 2008 left 10 people dead.
* With additional reporting by IANS