The curfew in Maharashtra's Amravati city will continue with relaxations until next week and restrictions on Internet services will remain in force for two more days, even as the situation in the aftermath of the back to back incidents of violence on November 12 and 13 is limping back to normalcy, a senior police officer said on Tuesday.
He said a total of 188 accused were arrested in connection with the incidents of violence till noon on Tuesday.
Addressing a press conference here, Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) Rajendra Singh said the curfew will continue with relaxations.
The Amravati Police had clamped the curfew on Saturday for four days after stones were hurled at shops during the bandh called by BJP, a day after incidents of stone-pelting took place during a rally called by a Muslim organisation in protest against the purported communal violence in Tripura.
"We are granting relaxation in the curfew but lifting it totally is currently out of question. It will continue until next week," the ADGP said without specifying the date till which the restrictions on movements of people will remain in place. He said restrictions on Internet services will continue for two more days.
On Tuesday, police relaxed the curfew for two hours from 2 PM to 4 PM. The relaxation may continue on Wednesday as well for two hours or four hours.
Speaking on the status of the investigation in the incidents of violence, Singh said the police are identifying and arresting the accused in connection with the incidents that occurred on November 12 and 13.
"We are investigating various aspects. We are also looking into a conspiracy angle," he said in response to a question.
He said 11 offences were registered in connection with the November 12 violence and 24 offences in connection with the November 13 flare-up. A total of 188 accused were arrested till noon on Tuesday.
Police had on Monday arrested former Maharashtra agriculture minister and BJP leader Anil Bonde and 13 others in connection with the violence that erupted on November 13 wherein stones were hurled at shops during the bandh called by BJP.
Besides Bonde, Amravati district BJP president Nivedita Chaudhary, city Mayor Chetan Gawande, BJP state spokesperson Shivrai Kulkarni were also arrested.
They all were produced before a court that granted them bail.
Meanwhile, Singh praised the Amravati Police for their quick response in bringing the situation under control. He said police did not use lethal weapons to control the miscreants during the violence.
"We achieved peace using the least force. Today, around 2,500 cops are keeping the situation normal in the city," he said.
Appealing to people to maintain communal harmony, the ADGP said the provocative language should be used.
When asked how local BJP leaders could secure bail from court when non-bailable offences were registered against them, Singh said it was the court's decision.
On Friday, various cities in Maharashtra had witnessed stone-pelting during rallies taken out by some Muslim organisations protesting against the purported communal violence in Tripura.
These incidents were reported from Amravati, Nanded, Malegaon, Washim and Yavatmal districts.
In Amravati, over 8,000 people had gathered outside the district collector's office on Friday to submit a memorandum demanding that atrocities against the minority community be stopped.
When people were leaving after submitting the memorandum, stone-pelting took place at three places between Chitra Chowk and Cotton Market under the limits of the Kotwali police station.
On Saturday, a mob hurled stones at shops in Amravati's Rajkamal Chowk area during a bandh called by BJP, prompting the police to impose a curfew.