Shops belonging to Muslims were burnt and damaged during a bandh called by BJP and Hindutva groups in Amravati in Maharashtra on Saturday (November 15), officials said.
Activists of the BJP, Bajrang Dal, Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), numbering around 6,000, gathered at Rajkamal Chowk in Kotwali area.
“A section of this crowd turned violent, burnt two shops, damaged some other shops, and burnt vehicles. Almost all the victims are from the minority community,” a police official told The Indian Express.
The bandh was supposedly against a protest march called by Raza Academy, a Muslim organisation, carried out on Friday against the anti-Muslim violence in Tripura.
During that march in which 25,000 were estimated to have taken part, violence broke out and local BJP leader Pravin Pote’s house was pelted with stones, leaving one person injured.
On Saturday, “Pote was seen in a video urging BJP workers to gather at Rajkamal Chowk. He also instructed that there should be no violence”, the Indian Express report said.
Heavy police force was deployed, curfew imposed and the situation brought under control. There were a few minor incidents near Kolhapuri Gate despite that.
“The situation is completely under control. We took out a flag march on Sunday in the city,” said Rajender Singh, additional director general of police, law and order, Maharashtra.
Police have registered 26 FIRs totally, 15 for Saturday’s violence and 11 for Friday’s incidents, and arrested 60 people.
On Monday, Amravati police arrested former Maharashtra minister and BJP leader Dr Anil Bonde and are in the hunt for Pote.