Protests in Kolhapur Over Social Media Post on Aurangzeb

WhatsApp status along with an audio message supporting and appreciating Aurangzeb and Tipu Sultan created a huge stir in Kolhapur.

On 4th June 2023, in Ahmednagar, Maharashtra, some youths took out a procession with Mughal emperor Aurangzeb's picture in their hands and provocative slogans were raised in this procession. After these videos went viral, 300 Km away from Ahmednagar, in Kolhapur, Maharashtra, on 5th June some youths shared a WhatsApp status along with an audio message supporting and appreciating Aurangzeb and Tipu Sultan, a Muslim ruler from South India. A large number of people associated with the Hindu organization gathered at the police station demanding action against the individuals responsible. There was a mild ruckus outside the police station, after which Hindu organizations announced a protest march and Kolhapur bandh on 7th June.

On 7th June, hundreds of people gathered. Police officials said, “Protesters were insisting that they be allowed to take out a morcha. We asked them not to move away from the protest site. At this time, another group of protesters came marching towards the venue,  got restive and started pelting stones and damaging shops and vehicles.” Because of this the police had to use lathicharge and tear gas to disperse these people. 

Following the protest, Internet services have been suspended in Kolhapur till 8th June. Section-144 has been implemented till 19th June 2023. 

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) President Sharad Pawar claimed that some minor issues in Maharashtra are being given a religious color and the ruling party is promoting such things. Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said glorification of Aurangzeb will not be tolerated in Maharashtra. We are probing who is instigating people to do so. After the investigation is complete, I will share the details. Chief Minister Eknath Shinde appealed to the people to maintain peace and urged them not to take law into their hands. Shinde said that anyone who takes law into his hands will not be spared. He said that welfare of common people is our topmost priority. 

Till now, six persons, including three juveniles, had been detained for circulating the post. Also Twenty people involved in the protest were detained after a bandh.