Amravati: Section 144 has been imposed in Amravati city on Saturday in view of more violent protests, where hundreds of people went on a rampage, destroying shops and private property against Tripura violence, Amravati’s guardian minister Yashomati Thakur said. The curfew has come into effect in the limits of the city and will remain in force till further order is issued.
The order was issued on Saturday by the Amravati police commissionerate, Sandip Patil, under sections 144(1), (2), (3) of the CrPc to avoid any untoward incidents. Except for medical emergencies, people are not allowed to come out of their houses. Similarly, gathering of more than five people is not allowed, it said.
Today’s violence occurred during the bandh (shutdown) called by a saffron body against Friday’s stone-pelting incidents during rallies held by Muslim organisations in Amravati city in protest against the Tripura communal violence. Hundreds of people, many of them raising saffron flags in their hands and shouting slogans, came out on streets in the Rajkamal Chowk area located around 670 km from the state capital, in the morning.
Some of them started hurling stones at the shops and damaging them, thus prompting the police to restore to lathicharge, an Amravati police official had said earlier in the day. The additional police force has been deployed at various places in Amravati, he said.
Following Saturday’s violence, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut told a news channel, “There was no reason for calling a bandh on Friday. The ones who called for the bandh must be behind the violence as well. Because Bhartiya Janata Party cannot do politics without using religious divide or caste divide or dangals (riots). The same picture can be seen in Amravati. The organisation (Raza Academy) that called for the protest does not have much value or strength to do violence. Raza Academy is said to be a sister concern of BJP.”
“This is a big conspiracy by the Opposition to destabilise Maharashtra and to create law and order problems. They used central agencies like ED, CBI, income tax and NCB first, but could not succeed. So now they are orchestrating riots to destabilise Maharashtra, but they will fail here too. The Raza Academy is not strong enough to orchestrate such violence and manpower has been provided to them for it.” Asked who was behind the violence, Raut said, “We will arrest and unmask them, the real mobsters are different. They (Opposition) are the biggest enemies of Maharashtra. People are watching and they know who is behind the violence.”
Meanwhile, Opposition leader Devendra Fadnavis said the rallies in Maharashtra to protest against the Tripura incident seem to be a well-orchestrated conspiracy to foment communal clashes, adding that it is unfortunate and does not augur well for the state. “It is my ardent appeal to people from both the communities to maintain peace. Nobody should indulge in any violence,” he said.
However, “what is shocking is that the protests have been based on a Tripura incident which did not take place at all. The Tripura government and police have clarified with pictures that no Masjid was torched.” Yet, some segment seems to have spread the rumours using social media to generate unrest,” Fadnavis alleged.
Notably, on Friday, over eight thousand people gathered outside the Amravati district collector’s office to submit a memorandum demanding that atrocities against the minority community be stopped, officials had said. 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. Kotwali Police has so far registered 11 FIRs under various charges including rioting. Ten persons were arrested, an official had said.