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Business News/ News / India/  Internet suspended in Maharashtra's Kolhapur over controversial social media post. 10 things to know

Protests erupted in Maharashtra's Kolhapur after a controversial social media post praising Mughal emperor Aurangzeb and disrespecting a revered Maratha figure.

The incident sparked outrage, leading to calls for a city-wide shutdown by certain right-wing groups. The demonstrators gathered at Shivaji Maharaj Chowk and voiced their demands for swift action against the individuals responsible for the objectionable content. Here are the key highlights of the Kolhapur protest:

1. In response to tension rose in Kolhapur city on Tuesday after two men allegedly put 18th-century Mysore ruler Tipu Sultan’s image along with an offensive audio message as their social media “status", the police in Kolhapur took action by using lathis to disperse hundreds of protesters. To maintain order and prevent further unrest, internet services in Kolhapur have been temporarily suspended until Thursday, as confirmed by a senior police official told PTI.

2. The State Reserve Police Force (SRPF) has been stationed in the western Maharashtra city of Kolhapur, and the local police have requested additional officers from Satara. Prohibitory orders have been enforced until June 19, restricting gatherings of five or more individuals, according to a police official.

3. Maharashtra Congress president Nana Patole made accusations against the ruling BJP on Wednesday, claiming that they are deliberately fueling religious sentiments to incite riots in the state. Patole called for the resignation of Home Minister Devendra Fadnavis, asserting that he has been unsuccessful in maintaining law and order.

4. Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis wondered if there was any link between the statement of a leader from the Opposition camp about likely riots and the subsequent "glorification" of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb and Tipu Sultan.

5. Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Wednesday said that it is the government's responsibility to maintain law and order in the state and added that no one will be allowed to take law and order into their hands following the Kolhapur clash. "It is the government's responsibility to maintain law and order in the state. I also appeal to the public for peace and calm. A police investigation is underway and action will be taken against those found guilty," CM Shinde said.

6. Maharashtra minister Deepak Kesarkar on Wednesday held a meeting with several social organisations in Kolhapur in the wake of tense situation. Kesarkar, the Minister for School Education and Marathi Language, who is also Kolhapur's district guardian minister, also urged local residents to maintain peace. The meeting chaired by Kesarkar was attended by members of several civic society groups as well.

7. Kolhapur Superintendent of Police Mahendra Pandit said force and teargas were used only after stones were hurled at houses and vehicles damaged.

8. Against the background of the incidents in Ahmednagar and Kolhapur, NCP chief Sharad Pawar has claimed "religious colour" was being given to some small issues and the ruling parties are encouraging such things, which he said is a cause of concern.

"Recently we heard about Ahmednagar. Today, I saw news from Kolhapur. People came out on roads, and giving religious colour to a small incident of sending a message over the phone is not a good sign. The ruling parties are encouraging such things," he alleged.

9. Kolhapur district collector Rahul Rekhawar said the situation is under control and additional police forces have been brought in.

10. At Sangamner in Ahmednagar district, stones were hurled during a rally of Sakal Hindu Samaj two days back in response to the alleged murder of a boy. Two persons were injured and five vehicles were damaged. Separately, a poster of Aurangzeb was displayed with the raising of objectionable slogans during a religious procession, also in Sangamner, police had said.

(With inputs from PTI)

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Updated: 08 Jun 2023, 06:48 AM IST
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