Home Minister Jayant Patil, whose constituency witnessed incidents of violence on Thursday, told Sayli Udas-Mankikar the situation was under control and that the state government wanted some videos on YouTube showing rioting mobs in Sangli banned. The state has written to the Centre in this regard, he said.
Have you asked the Centre to block YouTube videos related to the Sangli-Miraj riots?
The state police had sent a letter three days ago, and I am sending a reminder of the same. The videos show only one side of the story. But the fact that police controlled mobs and brought the situation under control is not shown. Also, the clips show incidents that might create tensions, so they should be removed. We are waiting for the Centre’s reply.
Fresh incidents of rioting have been reported, in your own constituency.
I have come to know of an incident where a flag and a photograph of a historical personality were desecrated in the market area. A crowd gathered after that, and to keep things in control the police fired two rounds in the air. The situation is under control now.
But clashes continue even nine days after the first incident was reported. Is this a case of failure of local police?
I don’t think so. There has been a spurt in violence here and there, but by and large, the situation is under control. 50 of 95 Ganpati idols would have been immersed by Thursday night. There has been no untoward incident in the past 48 hours.
Are these incidents part of a political ploy?
Many political parties have used the initial incidents to further their political interests. This is helping them gain political mileage. We will find out the real reason for violence through a police investigation.