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Kolhapur Clashes Explained : CM Appeals For Peace, Pawar Holds Gov. Responsible

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Kolhapur, a city in the southern part of Maharashtra famous for its temple, food, and culture, has been witnessing protests over a social media status.

The protests, which were supposed to be peaceful, took a violent and communal turn. The status update on social media regarding Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb left a group of right-wing activists agitated, as they demanded for strict actions against those responsible.

Kolhapur: Tension simmers after clashes between two groups over social media post | Kolhapur News – India TV

Credits – India TV News

The protesters gathered at the Shivaji Maharaj Chowk in the morning to protest against the glorification of Aurangzeb and Tipu Sultan. Amidst the sloganeering, a few protesters started hurling stones prompting the police to step in.

What happened in Kolhapur?

Two people put up a WhatsApp status glorifying Tipu Sultan and Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. The timing of the posts was crucial as it was around the same time when the celebrations for the 350th ‘Shivrajyabhishek’ were going on in the rest of the state.

The post left a right-wing group offended, who made it to the streets to protest against the same. According to a report by DNA India, the protests particularly went violent when a video of a person holding the poster of Aurangzeb went viral.

Hindu and Muslim community representatives from the city have criticised the glorification of Aurangzeb and the violent nature of the protests. They have also appealed to the people of Kolhapur to maintain peace.

Maharashtra: 4 booked for carrying Aurangzeb posters during procession in Ahmednagar | VIDEO - India Today

Credits – India Today

What Do Officials Say?

“We responded to this situation quickly because significant police deployment had been made at the spot. We had to use force to control the mob…We are closely monitoring the situation,” said the Kolhapur District Superintendent of Police Mahendra Pandit. According to PTI, internet services have been suspended till Thursday in the city.

According to the PTI, personnel from State Reserve Police Force have been deployed in the city and police have been brought in from Satara. Meanwhile, Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde has appealed for peace and said that nobody should take the law into their hands.”Anyone taking law into their hands will not be spared. I am in touch with the local administration, and necessary directives have been given. Welfare of the common man is our topmost priority,” said the Chief Minister.

Eknath shinde News| CM शिंदेंचा आंदोलकांना कडक इशारा : cm eknath shinde press conference on kolhapur protest

Credits – Saam TV

Senior leader Sharad Pawar has claimed that ruling parties are encouraging these instances. He also said that there was no need to give ‘religious colour’.

Sharad Pawar takes back his resignation as NCP chief, says 'will work with renewed vigour' | Mint

Credits – Mint

“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,” said Pawar.


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