Protests in Maharashtra’s Kolhapur turned violent as tensions flared up over an alleged controversial social media post related to Tipu Sultan, the ruler of Mysuru in the 18th century.
Several organizations in Maharashtra urged for a ‘Kolhapur bandh’ as a response to local individuals who supposedly shared an objectionable ‘audio’ message along with Tipu Sultan’s image on their social media accounts. Additionally, according to a report from Live Hindustan, an affiliate of Hindustan Times, these locals also made posts expressing support for Aurangzeb, the Mughal emperor.
Following the demonstration, a group of right-wing activists assembled at Shivaji Chowk to voice their protest. The police reported that once the demonstration concluded, the crowd had dispersed. However, they were subsequently attacked by miscreants who threw stones at them, as confirmed by Kolhapur Superintendent of Police, Mahendra Pandit.
A video shared by PTI revealed that the police personnel resorted to using force in order to disperse the crowd. Maharashtra’s guardian minister, Dipak Kesarkar, confirmed that action had been taken against individuals who had utilized Tipu Sultan’s image in the controversial social media post.
“Additional deployment has been done. So far 21 people have been detained. The situation is under control now”, Pandit told ANI.
In an effort to restore peace, Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde made an appeal for calm, urging the public not to take the law into their own hands.
“Anyone taking law into their hands will not be spared. I am in touch with the local administration, and necessary directives have been given. Welfare of the common man is our topmost priority,” the chief minister said, urging people to cooperate with the local administration in maintaining peace.
Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis expressed his concern, suggesting that the simultaneous incidents of politicians apprehending a riot-like situation and a specific community glorifying Mughal emperor Aurangzeb and Tipu Sultan could not be regarded as a mere coincidence. Fadnavis, who is also responsible for the home portfolio, pointed to a recent incident in Ahmednagar where the police took action against some individuals displaying photographs of Aurangzeb during a procession.
“Responding to comments of these leaders, youths of a particular community showcased pictures of Aurangzeb. They also glorified Aurangzeb and Tipu Sultan. It cannot be a mere coincidence. Why suddenly these images have been displayed in various districts of Maharashtra? It does not happen easily or automatically. As it cannot be a mere coincidence, we will have to dig deeper into this matter,” the deputy chief minister added, calling for a probe to identify those instigating youths.
Fadnavis’ statement was a response to a statement made by Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar. Pawar had emphasized that the responsibility to establish law and order lies with those in power who are governing the state. Fadnavis’ remarks can be seen as a counter to Pawar’s statement, highlighting the concerns regarding the incidents and the need for maintaining law and order in the state.
“If the ruling parties and their people come out on roads and create a rift between two religions, then it is not a good sign”, he said.
Fadnavis said, “I can easily see that all these leaders are talking the same language. People of a particular community are helping them and glorifying Aurangzeb. The riot-like situation is taking place in some areas only because people of a particular community are glorifying Aurangzeb”.
(With PTI, ANI inputs)
Disclaimer: Kolhapur tense after protests, police cane & teargas mobs over Tipu Sultan post - Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect Latheefarook.com point-of-view