A curfew was imposed in Maharashtra’s Kolhapur on Wednesday after a huge number of people gathered on the streets in protest over clashes that broke out between two group. Police resorted to lathicharge to disperse the crowd.
The protest was reportedly called after clashes broke out as a result of a “WhatsApp status" put up by three youngsters yesterday. After the status went viral, there was stone pelting by a few people. An FIR was registered against them.
The boys who had put status are said to be juvenile.
Dramatic visuals from Kolhapur showed scores of people gathered on the streets. While people have been instructed by police to not gather on streets, a curfew has also been imposed now.
Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde on Kolhapur incident reacted to the clashes and said, " It’s the government’s responsibility to maintain law and order in the state. I also appeal to the public for peace and calm. Police investigation is underway and action will be taken against those found guilty".
The protest reportedly was against the alleged use of Tipu Sultan’s image along with an objectionable audio message as social media status by some locals, an official said.
“Some organisations had called for a Kolhapur bandh and the members of these organisations gathered at Shivaji Chowk today. After their demonstration ended, the crowd began to disperse but some miscreants started pelting stones, forcing police to use force against these people to disperse them,” news agency PTI quoted Kolhapur Superintendent of Police Mahendra Pandit as saying.
Collector of Kolhapur, Rahul Rekhawar, appealed the citizens not to believe the rumours and to go with only official government statements.
Rahul Rekhawar said, “I am ready to sit with the people to remove any misunderstandings. I had already held meeting yesterday on the Bandh call and other controversial issues and the agitating right-wing groups had agreed, too, but today some youths have defied the understandings reached in the meeting".