Union Minister and Rajya Sabha MP Ramdas Athawale has raised concerns about the possibility of Pakistan's involvement in the violence in Maharashtra's Kolhapur. In a statement to the media on Thursday, he urged the government to investigate this angle. Following the display of an image of 18th-century ruler Tipu Sultan and an offensive audio message as social media statuses on Tuesday, tension ensued in Kolhapur city, leading to a protest by right-wing groups at Shivaji Chowk the following day.
“Pakistan could be behind it (the violence) and the government should investigate that angle,” said MP Ramdas Athawale, a day after violence during a demonstration in Maharashtra’s Kolhapur against the alleged use of Tipu Sultan’s image along with an objectionable audio message as social media “status” by a few locals.
Situation under control now: Police
The situation in Kolhapur is gradually returning to normal, a day after violence.
The situation was brought under control on Wednesday afternoon. District Guardian Minister Deepak Kesarkar held a meeting of a peace committee in the evening, Kolhapur Superintendent of Police Mahendra Pandit said.
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," he said.
Asked about the situation in the city, Pandit said, "The situation is gradually returning to normal. Shops in the main market area have started reopening." He said three cases have been registered in connection with the riots that took place on Wednesday.
36 arrested, 5 cases registered
So far, 36 people have been arrested in connection with the violence, the official said.
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.
Minister Kesarkar has instructed the administration to set up separate peace committees comprising members of all communities to ensure peaceful celebration of all festivals in Kolhapur, as per a release of the district administration.
He has also directed for the formation of an independent committee to prevent any communal discord in the city, the release said.
(with agency inputs)