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Updated on: Sunday, November 14, 2021, 11:06 PM IST

Maharashtra: Following violence in Amravati, Nanded and Malegaon, prohibitory orders issued in Pune rural against sending and posting messages on social media

Amravati: A vehicle set on fire allegedly by a mob during a bandh supposedly organised by BJP, in Amravati, Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021. |  (PTI Photo)

Amravati: A vehicle set on fire allegedly by a mob during a bandh supposedly organised by BJP, in Amravati, Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021. | (PTI Photo)

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Following the violence in Amravati, Nanded and Malegaon on November 12 and 13, after there were protest rallies to condemn communal violence in Tripura, Pune District Collector Rajesh Deshmukh has issued prohibitory orders in rural areas under Section 144, barring the gathering of more than five persons. There is also a ban on sending or posting messages on social media and messenger platforms which could potentially lead to communal disharmony and a law-and-order situation. The orders will be in force from November 14 till the midnight of November 20.

The order strictly prohibits posting of communally inflammatory or objectionable messages on WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and such platforms as well as putting up flex boards and hoardings carrying communally inflammatory messages. According to the order, social media group administrators will also be held responsible for the inflammatory messages posted on these platforms.

The order further states that those found in violation of the order will be liable to prosecution under IPC section 188 (disobeying order promulgated by public servant). Further, the order adds that it was issued to foil any attempt by anti-social elements to try and disturb communal harmony through social media platforms.

The Pune district collector’s move comes a day after the Amravati district administration issued prohibitory orders, imposed curfew and internet services were shut down in a bid to maintain peace and law and order. Police sources have said that the situation is under control there. Four companies of state reserve police force and 125 police personnel have been deployed in Amravati city to maintain law and order.

However, the Jalgaon Police have deployed additional police personnel and urged people not to believe in rumours. About 3,300 police, one company of state reserve police force and eight squads of riot control police have been deployed in the district.

Jalgaon Superintendent of Police Praveen Munde has warned that police will take stern action against those involved in spreading rumours. He also convened a special meeting of the peace committee to seek its cooperation in maintaining harmony.

In a related development, police have so far arrested 35 people in Nanded district in connection with stone-pelting.

Police to probe violence in Amravati, Nanded & Malegaon

Meanwhile, Home Minister Dilip Walse Patil said the situation in Amravati, Nanded, Malegaon and adjoining districts was normal and no violence was reported on Sunday. He announced that police would investigate the violence during the rallies in the state over incidents that may or may not have taken place in Tripura.

“A four-day curfew has been imposed and internet services were suspended for three days in Amravati,” said Walse-Patil.

To question on action against Raza Academy, which had called for a bandh on Friday, Walse-Patil said that he could not name any one organisation. “Police will probe the intention behind organising the bandh. Be it Raza Academy, or any other organisation, the guilty will be punished,” he noted.

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Published on: Sunday, November 14, 2021, 11:06 PM IST
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