An official reported that on Wednesday, police in Kolhapur, Maharashtra, used lathi charge to disperse a group that was throwing stones during a demonstration against the purported usage of Tipu Sultan’s image and an offensive audio message as ‘social media status’ by a few people.
According to a senior police officer, a request to suspend internet access from Wednesday afternoon through Thursday evening, or as necessary, has been filed to the relevant authorities.
He stated that although members of the State Reserve Police Force (SRPF) have been stationed in Kolhapur, authorities are still looking for more officers in Satara.
Orders prohibiting gatherings of five or more people have been issued until June 19, he said.
Tuesday’s purported posting by two individuals of the image and abusive audio message of 18th-century Mysore monarch Tipu Sultan as their social media “status” caused tension to rise in Kolhapur.
According to another official, a complaint was filed against the two men after a group of right-wing activists requested action against both men. Following additional protests, police later filed another first information report (FIR) and detained seven people, the source reported.
On Wednesday, demonstrators took to the streets once more.
“Some organisations had demanded a Kolhapur bandh, and today their members assembled at Shivaji Chowk. After the protest was over, the crowd started to leave, but some miscreants started throwing stones, necessitating the use of force by the police to disperse them, according to Mahendra Pandit, the superintendent of police for Kolhapur.
The SP claimed that he briefed the protesters on the police’s response to the objectionable post case and pleaded with them to remain composed.
According to him, force and tear gas were only employed after homes and vehicles were damaged by stones thrown at them.
Police, according to Pandit, have begun locating and detaining the criminals.
According to Kolhapur Collector Rahul Rekhawar, the area is renowned for its forward-thinking attitude.
“I make an appeal to everyone to keep Kolhapur’s reputation as a forward-thinking district alive. I beg them not to take rumours seriously,” he stated.
The collector asked the people to cooperate with the authorities and resolve conflicts through conversation while claiming that the situation is under control and that more police have been dispatched.
The guardian minister, Dipak Kesarkar, stated that people who utilised Tipu Sultan’s image coupled with an offensive audio message had their actions taken against them.