A Bharatiya Janata Party-sponsored shutdown (bandh) in Amravati took a violent turn with incidents of stone-pelting, damaging vehicles and a mild caning by the police here on Saturday.
The bandh call followed statewide protests and rallies carried out by some Muslim organisations like Raza Academy on Friday in protest against the recent communal violence that erupted in Tripura.
After minor incidents of stone-pelting reported on Friday from Nanded, Amravati and Malegaon (Nashik), Home Minister Dilip Walse-Patil made a late-night video appeal for restrain from all groups.
"Please maintain calma I appeal to all Hindus and Muslims brethren to maintain peace," Walse-Patil urged, along with other leaders of Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government.
"I am monitoring the entire situation with the help of senior police officers and discussing with senior Opposition leaders. All those guilty would not be spareda We all must maintain social harmony and I request all to cooperate with us. I request the same to my police brothers to handle the situation cautiously and to maintain peace."
The BJP called for the Amravati bandhto protest against the Friday demonstrations, resulting in massive crowds surging onto the roads, shouting slogans, carrying banners and flags.
Shortly afterwards some sections resorted to pelting stones at private and government vehicles, shops and establishments, forcing the police to resort to mild caning to control the miscreants.
Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut and Ministers Abdul Sattar, Ashok Chavan (Congress), Nawab Malik (NCP), AIMIM MP Syed Imtiaz Jaleel, farmers leader from Vidarbha accorded MoS status, and others have strongly slammed the BJP for the violent incidents in Saturday's bandh.
Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis urged the state government to ensure law and order is maintained and condemned the violence that erupted on Friday in three towns.
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