How installation of a Shivaji statue in Telangana’s Nizamabad district put the town on edge

An uneasy calm hung in the air in Telangana’s Nizamabad district on Monday — on Chhatrapati Shivaji Jayanti — after it witnessed violence an...

An uneasy calm hung in the air in Telangana’s Nizamabad district on Monday — on Chhatrapati Shivaji Jayanti — after it witnessed violence and stone-pelting over the weekend.

Prohibitory orders have been clamped down in the town of Bodhan in Nizamabad following the violence that broke out over the installation of a Shivaji statue.

We take a look at what happened and why violence ensued in the town.

The incident

The trouble started in Bodhan when a group of activists of Hindu organisations — Hindu Vahini and Bajrang Dal — installed a Chhatrapati Shivaji statue at Ambedkar Centre in the early hours of Sunday.

However, according to reports, AIMIM and Telangana Rashtra Samithi workers took objection to it, contending that there was no permission to do so.

Soon tempers ran high and both the groups began raising slogans and started attacking each other with stones.

The activists of the Hindu organisations argued that the municipal council had passed a resolution to install the statue and that there should not be any objection it. But the AIMIM and TRS activists maintained that though the resolution had been passed, no official proceedings were initiated and therefore, the statue could not be installed.

BJP MP from Nizamabad Dharmapuri Arvind remained adamant that all permissions had been obtained. But, the AIMIM and TRS opposed the statue.

He tweeted on Sunday:

As per a Hindustan Times report, BJP state president Bandi Sanjay also condemned the pelting of stones by a section of people on the BJP workers over installation of Shivaji statue, which the local municipal council had given approval.

Police swing into action

Seeing as the situation was escalating between the two groups, the police reached the spot of the protests and ordered for the groups to disperse.

When their calls weren’t heeded, the police resorted to lathi-charge and lobbing of tear gas shells.

According to Nizamabad Police Commissioner K R Nagaraju, a constable was also injured in the attack.

The authorities also imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 (of CrPC) and set up police pickets around the area.

Moreover, the police also made some preventive arrests.

“The situation is now under control,” Nagaraju was quoted as saying.

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Jayanti

Incidentally, the violence broke out on the eve of Chhatrapati Shivaji Jayanti — the birth anniversary of Maratha warrior Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, who found the Maratha empire in the 17th century.

This date is according to the Hindu calendar. However, according to the Gregorian calendar, Chhatrapati Shivaji Jayanti is observed on 19 February.

Ardent followers who celebrate this special day, will observe Chhatrapati Shivaji’s 392nd birth anniversary this year, according to Drikpanchang. According to the website, the Tritiya Tithi began at 10:06 am on 20 March and ended at 08:20 am on 21 March.

With inputs from agencies

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