One dead, over 8 injured after violence over alleged social media post in Maharashtra

Section 144 imposed, and internet suspended as authorities try dispel communal tension in Maharashtra's Satara district.

Violence broke out the past weekend in Pusesevali village in in Khatav taluka of Maharashtra’s Satara district and lead to one person dead and at least three others injured. The violence erupted in response to an alleged objectionable social media posts which reportedly said ‘Pakistan Zindabad.’ The administration has  imposed Section 144 as there are reports of houses being burnt and stone pelting at a religious site.

A senior police officer from Satara confirmed the  loss of life during the clashes and assured the situation was under control, “Some more are currently in the hospital. The situation is under control.”

To prevent the situation from escalating further, the Satara district administration took the precautionary measure of suspending internet services in the region. Preliminary investigations indicate that the clashes unfolded in Pusesavali village, situated approximately 50 km from the district headquarters and 160 km from Pune.

According to the Indian Express, the senior officer from the Satara district police has stated further thhat “Initial probe suggests that social media posts by some youths from a particular community in the area have led to the clashes on Sunday night around 9.30 pm. One person has been seriously injured, and multiple houses have been set on fire.

The roots of this instance can reportedly be traced back to an squable obeer a post on social media, which ignited tensions between two communities. The situation had been simmering for some time, triggered by the alleged posf which read a ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ message and also villified Indian freedom fighters and was posted on August 15, 2023.

In the wake of the violence, several vehicles and homes were set ablaze, shops were vandalised, and a place of worship belonging to a community was desecrated. The internet service in the district has reportedly remained suspended since Monday morning.

Furthermore, reports suggest that a substantial police presence has been deployed, and the situation is being closely monitored. The suspension of internet services aims to prevent the spread of rumours and incendiary content on social media platforms, which could further exacerbate communal tensions. Security measures have been significantly enhanced in the area and with some individuals detained by the police.

An appeal has been put by the Satara District Collector Jitendra Dudi and Police Superintendent of Samir Shaikh to curb rumourmongering and escalation of violence, which reads, “On the backdrop of tensions in the Satara district, the district administration is appealing to the citizens of Satara district not to believe in any rumours. People should refrain from posting any content on social media that can potentially lead to communal discord and cause disturbance to law and order.”



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