Maharashtra violence: Four-day curfew imposed in Amravati, internet suspended

Parts of Maharashtra witnessed violence on November 12 and 13 after protest rallies were taken out to condemn communal violence in Tripura.
Washim police carrying out a route march to maintain law and order
Washim police carrying out a route march to maintain law and order
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After several places in Maharashtra witnessed violence on November 12 and 13, following rallies taken out to protest the purported communal violence against Muslims in Tripura, 35 people have been arrested so far in Nanded district, officials said on Sunday, November 14. Incidents of stone-pelting were reported during protests in Nashik, Amravati and Nanded districts on Friday against communal violence in Tripura. In protest against these rallies organised by Muslim organisations, the following day, a mob hurled stones at shops in Amravati city during a bandh allegedly organised by local BJP workers, police said. 

A four-day curfew was imposed on Saturday in Amravati city which witnessed fresh violence during the bandh, a senior police official said. Internet services in the city would remain suspended for the next three days so as to prevent the spread of rumours which can fuel violence, said city Commissioner of Police Arti Singh. On Saturday morning, hundreds of people, many of them holding saffron flags in their hands and raising slogans, came out on streets in the Rajkamal Chowk area of Amravati city. Some members of the mob hurled stones at shops in Rajkamal Chowk and other places, the police official said, adding that the police lathi-charged the protesters to bring the situation under control.

Earlier, on Friday, stone-pelting was reported during rallies taken out by Muslim organisations at Amravati, Nanded, Malegaon, Washim and Yavatmal, to protest against incidents in Tripura. 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 in Tripura 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. 

In Nanded, stones were allegedly pelted at police vans and two police personnel sustained injuries, a police official said. Stones were also hurled during a protest march held on Friday afternoon in Malegaon.

As of Saturday, at least 20 FIRs were registered in connection with stone-pelting during Friday’s protest rallies and 20 persons were arrested under various charges, including rioting. 

At present, the situation is peaceful in Nanded, where stones were pelted at police vans on Friday during which two police personnel had sustained injuries, police officials said. A senior police official said the violence took place in the Vazirabad area and Deglur Naka of Nanded city and they have estimated losses worth nearly Rs 1 lakh. "Four offences are registered in Nanded regarding the incident. The Nanded police have so far arrested 35 people allegedly involved in the incident," Superintendent of Police Pramod Kumar Shewale told PTI. A senior official told PTI cases were registered for various offences, including damage to public property.

Meanwhile, launching a veiled attack on opposition BJP, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut on Saturday said the violence in Amravati and other places was aimed at destabilising the MVA (Maha Vikas Aghadi) government. "Raising the bogey of violence, they (Opposition) will meet the state governor and write letters to the Union home ministry claiming that the (law and order) situation in Maharashtra is deteriorating. This will happen in the future too. But the state government is firm in the saddle," Raut said.

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