More than 100 individuals have been detained following a clash in Maharashtra’s Akola city, where two communities engaged in violence over a social media post about the movie ‘The Kerala Story.’ Tragically, the incident resulted in one fatality and eight injuries, including two policemen. State minister Girish Mahajan suggested that the violence may have been pre-planned, while Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis vowed to take action against those who seek to destabilize the state. To prevent the spread of rumors, internet services have been shut down, although curfew has been relaxed in certain areas, restoring peace, according to Akola Superintendent of Police Sandip Ghuge.
The clash erupted in Akola’s Old City area on Saturday night in response to a religious post that had gone viral on social media. The confrontation involved the hurling of stones and extensive vandalism by members of the two groups. The unruly mobs also set several motorcycles and cars on fire during the violent outburst, as confirmed by the SP. Tragically, one person lost their life, and eight others, including two policemen, sustained injuries. Over 100 individuals have been detained thus far in relation to the clash.
Following the incident, District Magistrate Nima Arora imposed a curfew in four police station areas of the city to restore law and order, as shared by the SP. On Monday, curfew restrictions were eased in areas under the jurisdiction of City Kotwali and Ramdas Peth police station limits. However, within the boundaries of Dabki Road and Old City police stations, the curfew will remain in effect during the night hours (from 8 pm to 8 am), while some relaxations will be provided during the daytime.
State Rural Development Minister Girish Mahajan, who visited the affected areas, suggested that the clash may have been pre-planned and emphasized that strict action would be taken against the culprits. Mahajan also met with the family of Vilas Gaikwad (40), the individual who lost his life, expressing his condolences. Additionally, Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, in Pune, addressed the issue, stating that there are organizations and individuals seeking to destabilize the state. He affirmed that the government would expose and reprimand them, ensuring stability.
In Aurangabad, Shiv Sena (UBT) leader and former MP Chandrakant Khaire alleged that riots were being incited in Maharashtra to prevent Muslim votes from shifting towards the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA). Khaire claimed that communal tensions have been escalating since the Eknath Shinde-Devendra Fadnavis coalition came to power.
In another incident, at least five individuals sustained injuries during a communal clash over a procession in Shevgaon village, located in Ahmednagar district. Stone pelting resulted in damage to several shops and vehicles. Police have detained 32 people and registered cases against 150 others in response to the incident, which occurred on Sunday night.