Kolhapur Rally Sparks Tensions; Takes Violent Turn

Hindu organized rally in Kolhapur descends into chaos eventually leading to internet suspension, subsequent clashes between the groups creating an atmosphere of tension and fear.

Kolhapur Rally Sparks Tensions; Takes Violent Turn
Image Source: IANS (Twitter)

In a disturbing turn of events, a rally organized by Hindu organizations in Kolhapur took a violent and turbulent course, leading to the suspension of internet services and an atmosphere of unease gripping the city. A report in Hindustan Times mentioned that the right-wing Hindu organizations had orchestrated the rally to voice their protest against alleged social media posts that glorified Aurangzeb and Tipu Sultan. The demonstrators aimed to condemn the perceived glorification and express their disapproval of such content.

Unrest Unleashed After Rally Conclusion

However, as the rally drew to a close, the situation spiraled out of control. A faction of troublemakers instigated chaos by hurling stones at residences and business establishments belonging to the Muslim community, and they also launched assaults on their vehicles. The subsequent clashes between the groups created an atmosphere of tension and fear.

Police Intervention and Suspension of Internet Services

To quell the unrest and restore order, law enforcement personnel resorted to using lathi charges to disperse the agitated crowd. The severity of the situation prompted the deployment of additional forces, including the Rapid Action Force and State Reserve Police Force. As a precautionary measure, authorities deemed it necessary to suspend internet services in an effort to prevent the spread of inflammatory content and curb further violence.

Prohibitory Orders Issued to Maintain Law and Order

In a bid to maintain law and order, authorities issued prohibitory orders that prohibited gatherings of five or more individuals until June 19. These measures aimed to safeguard the district and prevent any escalation of violence or clashes between communities. Law enforcement officials took swift action in response to the circulation of the contentious social media posts. Six individuals, including three juveniles, were apprehended for their alleged involvement in disseminating the material that sparked the controversy.

Deputy Chief Minister Defends Hindutva Outfits Amid Criticism

While urging for peace and calm, Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, also serving as the state home minister, defended the actions of the Hindutva outfits involved in the rally. Fadnavis argued that any glorification of Aurangzeb would naturally elicit a reaction and emphasized that such conduct would not be tolerated, emphasizing the significance of upholding the values of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj's Maharashtra.

Police Statement and Promise of Accountability

Superintendent of Police Mahendra Pandit addressed the media, recounting the sequence of events leading to the violence. Pandit acknowledged that the police had already filed two First Information Reports (FIRs) related to the social media posts and had appealed to the protesters to peacefully end their demonstration. He condemned the specific targeting of houses belonging to a particular community within mixed neighborhoods. Pandit reassured the public that the vandals responsible for the violence would be identified and face appropriate legal consequences.

Government Accusations

Amidst allegations made by opposition leaders accusing the ruling parties of orchestrating communal riots, Fadnavis strongly refuted the claims and accused the opposition of conspiring against the government. He emphasized that the timing of the alleged glorification, which was initiated by a specific community, shortly after these accusations were made, was far from coincidental. In response to the seriousness of the situation, the government made a commitment to conduct a comprehensive investigation into the matter, aiming to uncover the truth behind the allegations.

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