PUNE, 2 JUNE-2014(TNN): Had the Pune police been able to asses the repercussions of the objectionable words that were posted on a social networking site, the damage to public property and injuries to people in the city and neighbouring areas on Saturday and Sunday could have been avoided.
Joint commissioner of police Sanjay Kumar admitted that they had failed to asses the severity of the problem.
People who gathered on the roads on Saturday night and on Sunday morning targeted transport buses. As many as 193 Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) buses and 56 Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) buses were damaged in the backlash.
Three policemen were injured in the stone pelting. Assistant inspector of the Hinjewadi police station N J Jagdale sustained injuries after some persons from Bavdhan threw stones at him. Thirty people have been booked.
“Two sub-inspectors from Bhosari police station also sustained minor injuries when stones were flung at them,” said Sanjay Kumar, joint commissioner of police. Two persons, one in Wanowrie and the other in Kasba Peth were beaten up by a mob on Saturday night, he added.
He said the Computer Emergency Response Team had deleted 13 objectionable posts from the social networking site by Saturday midnight. “On Sunday around 10am one more post was found on the social networking site. It was deleted immediately,” he added.
“Since Saturday night there have been 56 incidents in the jurisdiction of 24 police stations in the city. We have registered 34 cases and arrested 117 people. We have detained over 100 people including a corporator from Sangvi area and a relative of a Member of Legislative Assembly from the city,” Sanjay Kumar added.
Those arrested and detained were from a local organization in the city. “They have been booked under the charges of rioting, pelting stones on the buses and forcing people to close their shops,” Sanjay Kumar said adding, “We have also impounded several motorcycles.”
People in the jurisdiction of the Bhosari police station suffered the most. “On Saturday night a mob ransacked 25 two-wheelers in the area. They also torched four two-wheelers parked in that area. We have arrested six people,” he added.
A stationary state transport bus was also torched in Bhosari. “The mob also set ablaze two scrap shops,” Sanjay Kumar said.
Motorcyclists went around closing shops
Motorcycle borne men carrying flags forced shop owners to down shutters. In Bavdhan, they pelted stones to get them to obey. Fearing damages, many shops were closed on Paud, Karve, Sinhagad roads, Hadapsar and other parts of the city.
The shops and other establishments on the FC Road were open till afternoon on Sunday. But the motorcyclists forced them to close. Tilak, Laxmi and Karve roads also remained deserted for some part of the day.
Heavy police bandobast
All the senior police officers were on the roads since Saturday night. “Along with the police force, we have got three companies of state reserve police force (SRPF),” Sanjay Kumar said.
Senior officers were provided with the SRPF men. “The bandobast will be on Sunday night too. We have started peace committee meetings in the jurisdiction of all 33 police stations,” he added.
They would concentrate in areas like Hinjewadi, Sangvi, Bhosari, Pimpri, Chinchwad and Kasba Peth. “Miscreants had planned trouble in areas on Ahmednagar Road, Khadki and in Yerawada. But deputy commissioner of police (zone-IV) Manoj Patil could control it,” Sanjay Kumar said.
A senior officer from the city police said the objectionable post on the social networking site may have originated from Osmanabad.
Sanjay Kumar said the process to delete such posts was long as the servers are based abroad. “It requires a court order. Through the nodal officer of the state police, we have to contact CERT, which contacts the site server for deletion of posts,” Sanjay Kumar said.
The rural police have held 42 people and taken preventive action against 65 others for creating a ruckus in parts of the district. About seven policemen sustained minor injuries in a stone-pelting incident by an irate mob. The rural police have registered 27 cases so far in the various spots in the district.
Don’t believe any rumours: Cops
Joint commissioner of police Sanjay Kumar said doctored images of some places were being circulated through the mobile messenger services after the Saturday and Sunday’s violence.
“People should not believe them and should not forward the messages to others,” he added. Deputy superintendent of police Manoj Lohiya has appealed to people to not believe in rumours. or forward trouble-making messages. [Input source: TOI]