Maha bandh has been peaceful, cops told not to use force against protesters, say govt officials | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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Maha bandh has been peaceful, cops told not to use force against protesters, say govt officials

State government asks police not to resort to lathicharge to avoid escalation of protests; situation will return to normal by evening, says minister

mumbai Updated: Jan 03, 2018 15:18 IST
HT Correspondent
Protesters set a bike on fire in Powai on Wednesday afternoon.
Protesters set a bike on fire in Powai on Wednesday afternoon.(Satish Bate/HT)

In a bid to avoid any escalation of protests, the police have been told not to use force against demonstrators as long as their agitations are peaceful, Maharashtra government officials said on Wednesday.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who heads the home department, has been monitoring the situation across the state, and reportedly spoke to Republican Party of India (RPI) leader Prakash Ambedkar to ensure that the agitation remained peaceful.

“We are taking stock of the situation on an hourly basis. The CM is being apprised at regular intervals. We are in constant touch with senior officials, including the director general of police and police commissioners. The protests are peaceful, and the situation is expected to return to normalcy by evening,” minister of state for home Dipak Kesaekar told HT.

Officials from the home department said no major incidents of violence have been reported from anywhere in the state. “We have directed the police not to resort to lathicharge or take any aggressive steps as long as the protests are peaceful. The protestors, too, have by and large restrained from violence,” said a senior officer.

The state government has reportedly requested RPI leaders who called the bandh to ensure the situation does not get out of hand. “The CM has told them that violence from any side will not be tolerated by the government. The Dalit leaders were told that the government has taken adequate action against people responsible for the violence at Bhima-Koregoan on Monday,” said a senior minister, on condition of anonymity. “The dialogue between the government and protesters has helped keep the situation under control.”