Kolhapur Tense as Hindutva Supporters Take to Street Against Pro-Aurangzeb Posts

The police had to resort to lathicharge and tear gas to disperse the crowd.

3 min read

Video Producer/Editor: Visnu Gopinath 

Hundreds of men belonging to Hindutva organisations took to the streets of Kolhapur on Wednesday, 7 June, against WhatsApp posts praising Aurangzeb and Tipu Sultan despite orders prohibiting group assembly.

The men indulged in sloganeering, held posters with words 'Love Jihad' and 'The Kerala Story' written on them, pelted stones and also damaged a few vehicles. The police had to resort to lathicharge and tear gas to disperse the crowd.

Police personnel, including Maharashtra State Reserve Police Force, were deployed in areas with higher chances of disturbance anticipating Wednesday's protests.

The police had to resort to lathicharge and tear gas to disperse the crowd.

In light of the Hindutva organisations' call for strike, many shops and other places were shuttered on Wednesday. However, the men belonging to these organisations gathered in hundreds at the city's Shivaji Chowk in the morning, demanding strict action against the Muslim youth who had put up posts about the medieval kings a day earlier.


The district administration has appealed all stakeholders to maintain calm. District Collector Rahul Rekhawar told mediapersons,

"Any social issue can be solved peacefully, with discussion and conciliation. No question can be solved by taking law and order in one's own hands, rather it becomes more serious. Therefore, I appeal to the youth of all religions and their leaders to resolve questions only through discussion. The law is strong, the provisions in the law are strong and any question can be solved through that."

CM Appeals for Calm, Deputy CM Inflames Passions

Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde said that it is the responsibility of the government to maintain law and order in the state and the cooperation of people is expected in this regard. "No one should take law in their hand and whoever does so, will not be spared," he asserted.

The members of Hindutva organisations had got active on Tuesday after it came to their notice that a few Muslim youth had shared WhatsApp statuses praising Mughal emperor Aurangzeb and Mysore king Tipu Sultan.

The police had to resort to lathicharge and tear gas to disperse the crowd.

Marking the anniversary of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj's coronation as per the Gregorian calendar, events were organised throughout the state on Tuesday.

Deputy chief minister and home minister Devendra Fadnavis slammed the supporters of Aurangzeb, who is considered the nemesis of Chhatrapati Shivaji in Maharashtra. He said,

"We need to find out how so many offsprings of Aurangya (Aurangzeb) have suddenly taken birth. We need to find out who is behind this. We need to also check if these offsprings have not taken birth to intentionally spoil law and order ... Here, no one can glorify Aurangzeb. This is the Maharashtra of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj."

Nationalist Congress Party leader and member of Parliament Supriya Sule held the Bharatiya Janata Party responsible for the incident in Kolhapur. She told mediapersons,

"Since the time the Bharatiya Janata Party has come to power, how is the atmosphere getting polluted so often? An incident took place in Ahmednagar yesterday and now Kolhapur. How are these things happening so regularly in the state? If these kind of things keep happening, if riots keep happening, people will not invest in the state, common people are scared and this is the failure of the home ministry."

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Topics:  Devendra Fadnavis   Kolhapur   Aurangzeb 

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