Kolhapur violence: As many as 36 people have been arrested so far and cases registered in connection with the violence that occurred between the members of some Hindu organisations and police in Maharashtra's Kolhapur district. The incident took place on June 7 during a demonstration against the alleged use of Tipu Sultan’s image along with an objectionable audio message as social media status by a few locals in the region.
Speaking to the media, Kolhapur Suprindent of Police (SP) Mahendra Pandit said that the situation is gradually returning to normal and shops in the main market area have started reopening. "36 people have been arrested on the charges of rioting, damage to public property and unlawful assembly. Additional police arrangements have been made in the city to keep vigilance... 2 SRPF platoons from Pune, senior officers and a team of 100 jawans have come from Sangli and additional 1500 jawans have been deployed in the region," he added.
Internet services to remain suspended
The SP further said that the internet services in the region will be suspended till 12 PM today (June 8). Members from various organisations and communities pledged to maintain peace in the city, he said. "Precautionary measures have been taken, with police deployment in sensitive areas of the city and district along with the ongoing patrolling. A total of three FIRs have been filed in connection with the matter and CCTV footage is being examined," Pandit added.
Additionally, five cases have been registered by police in the district pertaining to objectionable posts. Five persons, including juveniles, have been detained in two of these cases, the police said. According to the Kolhapur SP, the accused have deleted their social media accounts and efforts are underway to retrieve those accounts.
Meanwhile, an FIR has also been registered against MNS leader Sandeep Deshpande and 8 others under Maharashtra police act 37, 135, for burning an effigy of Aurangzeb in the aftermath of Kolhapur protests.
About Kolhapur violence
It should be mentioned here that tension gripped Kolhapur city on Wednesday after two men allegedly put 18th-century Mysore ruler Tipu Sultan’s image along with an offensive audio message as their social media "status". Wielding lathis, police dispersed hundreds of protesters in Kolhapur after they hurled stones during a demonstration against the alleged use of Tipu Sultan’s image.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde said that it is the government's responsibility to maintain law and order in the state and added that no one will be allowed to take law and order into their hands following the Kolhapur clash. The Chief Minister urged the common people to maintain peace in the state. He added that action will be taken against those who take law and order into their hands.
(With inputs from agencies)