Maharashtra Violence: Over 130 Detained, Internet Shut; Situation In Akola And Shevgaon Under Control

One person was killed and eight others, including two policemen, were injured, in a clash that broke out on Saturday night in the sensitive Old City area of Akola over a religious post on social media, prompting the police to clamp curfew in some pockets, police had said.


Two-wheeler set on fire as violence erupts in Maharashtra's Akola

Communal violence that erupted  in Akola city and Shevgaon village in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra in the last two days over a religious post on social media has posed a challenge to police to prevent potential flare-ups in other areas.

The situatio, has prompted police to clamp curfew in some pockets. Over 130 people have been detained so far.

According to police, so far one person has been killed and 13 others, including two policemen, were injured, in the  clash that broke out on Saturday night in the sensitive Old City area of Akola

While state minister Girish Mahajan, who belongs to BJP, claimed that the violence in Akola was possibly “pre-planned”, Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said there are some organisations and people who want the state to be unstable, but the government will teach them a lesson.


All about the communal violence

Members of the two groups hurled stones at each other and indulged in large-scale vandalism. The rioters set on fire some two-wheelers and four-wheelers during the violence.

In Shevgaon village in Ahmednagar district in west Maharashtra, at least five persons were injured in a clash over a procession on Sunday night. Several shops and vehicles were damaged in stone pelting, police said on Monday.

Police have detained 132 people- more than 100 in Akola and 32 in Shevgaon- so far. Cases were registered against 150 people in Shevgaon, located 65 km from the Ahmednagar district headquarters, an official said.


After the violence in Akola, District Magistrate Nima Arora ordered a curfew, which requires people to stay at home, in four police station areas of the city to maintain law and order, a senior officer said.

On Monday, the official said, the curfew was relaxed in areas under the jurisdiction of City Kotwali and Ramdas Peth police station limits.                

However, it will remain in force within the limits of Dabki Road and Old City police stations at night (between 8 pm and 8 am), while some relaxations will be provided during day time, he said.

Internet services remain suspended in Akola and Shevgaon to check the spread of rumours, officials said.

What did the govt say?

Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Monday instructed the police to take strict action against those behind the riots in Akola and Shevgaon and appealed to people to maintain peace and social harmony, said his office.

“The situation in Akola and Shevgaon is now under control and the police force is deployed. On the instructions of state home minister Devendra Fadnavis, state rural development minister Girish Mahajan has personally visited Akola while revenue minister Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil reviewed the situation in Shegaon,” the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) said in a statement.


Fadnavis said, "It is 100 per cent true there are some people and organisations that want the state to remain unstable. But the government will expose them and also teach them a lesson”.

What did the different political parties say?

Earlier in the day, State Rural Development Minister Girish Mahajan claimed the clash was possibly “pre-planned”. Mahajan visited the affected areas in Akola on Sunday.

“Some houses and vehicles were damaged. Strict action would be taken against the culprits," he told reporters after meeting the family of the man, Vilas Gaikwad (40), killed in the violence.

Mahajan said the government has announced assistance of Rs 4 lakh for the family of the deceased.


Shiv Sena (UBT) leader and former Aurangabad MP Chandrakant Khaire claimed that riots were being instigated in Maharashtra to stop Muslim votes from shifting towards the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA).

Ever since the Eknath Shinde-Devendra Fadnavis coalition has come to power, communal tensions are taking place, Khaire alleged. 

Meanwhile, security guards at the famous Trimbakeshwar temple in Nashik district thwarted an attempt by a group of people from a different religion who tried to force their way into the temple premises on Saturday night, a trust official said on Monday. 

As per the temple management, only Hindus are allowed to enter the temple- one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva. 


The temple trust has submitted a complaint to the police. 

No case is registered so far, a police official said.

(With PTI Inputs)