Three cities in Maharashtra namely Malegaon, Amravati and Nanded were marred with communal violence with incidents of stone-pelting being reported on Friday.
According to reports, Muslim groups had taken out rallies in Nanded, Malegaon, Amaravati and some other places which turned violent with the mob resorting to stone-pelting. According to reports, the mob was protesting the communal disturbance that was reported in Tripura last month.
Following the incidents, State Home Minister Dilip Walse-Patil appealed to the people to maintain peace.
“Muslims across the state had taken out a protest march today against the violence in Tripura. During this, stone pelting was done in Nanded, Malegaon, Amaravati and some other places. I appeal to all Hindus and Muslims to maintain peace,” Maharashtra home minister Dilip Walse Patil was quoted by ANI as saying
Muslim mob of 8000 pelt-stones outside the district collector’s office in Amravati, Maharashtra
According to a police official, more than eight thousand people gathered outside the district collector’s office in Amravati to present a memorandum “seeking an end to atrocities against the minority community”. According to the officer, stone-pelting occurred at three locations between Chitra Chowk and Cotton Market while people were leaving after submitting the memorandum.
The police further added that in Nanded, the irate mob pelted stones at police vans, injuring 7-8 police officers in the ensuing violence.
The situation has been brought under control at all these places and FIRs were being registered, he added.
Vikram Sali, DCP Amaravati informed that no police permission was taken for the protest march. He added that on the basis of complaints, strict action will be taken against those involved.
Raza Academy members pelt-stones at police vans, injure 7-8 police officers
The Nanded wing of the radical Islamist organisation, Raza Academy had organised a sit-in protest. Some youth were walking towards mixed-residential areas when they were halted by the police, following which the youths pelted stones at the police. The Islamists also pelted stones when they saw some shops open. The police used force to disperse the mob. The incident happened at 3-4 locations in the city, said Pramod Kumar Shewale, Superintendent of Police, Nanded
According to a report by TOI, the riot control police reached the spot to quell the mob, which in turn started targeting the police officers by throwing stones at them. In retaliation, the police resorted to a mild lathi charge.
“We are registering offences that took place, currently, the situation is peaceful in Nanded. I request people to not believe in rumours. 7-8 police officials have been injured,” Shewale added.
BJP MLA Nitesh Rane slammed Raza academy calling it a ‘terrorist organisation’ for disrupting law and order in Maharashtra.
Rane said, “This terrorist organisation Raza academy is behind all the violence and riots in different parts of Maharashtra!” “Every time they disrupt and break all the rules and the government sits and watches. Either the government bans them or we have to finish them in the interest of Maharashtra!,” he further tweeted.
Meanwhile, Nashik Collector Suraj Mandhare said that the situation in Malegaon is completely under control now. Senior government and police officials are camping there, he said, further appealing to people not to fall for any rumours.
The Nanded police have so far arrested five people and booked 25 people in connection with the stone-pelting incident in Maharashtra on Friday. The search for the other suspects is still ongoing. The cases have been registered under Nanded’s Shivaji Nagar police station limits.
According to reports, the Islamist Raza Academy had also called for a bandh in several Muslim pockets and suburbs of Mumbai including Bhendi Bazar, Mohammad Ali Road, Kurla as well as Mumbra and Bhiwandi in Thane.