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Mob beats cops for removal of flag on Shiv Jayanti

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Latur: Two policemen were beaten up allegedly by a mob for objecting to a saffron flag put up on the occasion of Shiv Jayanti at a controversial spot in Paangav village of the district earlier this week.

The incident took place on February 19, in which Head constable Yunus Shaikh (57), one of the police officers, received severe injuries.

According to police, a group of locals wanted to put a flag and a bust of Shivaji in a square in Shivajinagar area, where an old mosque and a Buddhist stoopa stand.

There had been a dispute about celebration of Shiv Jayanti at this spot earlier.

On the evening of February 18, Shaikh and another constable visited the spot and requested the group to remove the saffron flag. The flag was then removed.

But the next morning, a 100-strong mob attacked Pangaav police chowky and ransacked it. While Yunus’s colleague succeeded in fleeing, Yunus was thrashed by the mob and taken to the disputed spot where he was forced to put up the flag.

Then he was again beaten up, according to the complaint filed by him.

The nearby Renapur police station sent a police force to the village a couple of hours later and arrested 14 persons.

Shaikh and his colleague are currently admitted at the Latur civil hospital.

District Superintendent of Police Dr Dnyaneshwar Chavan told PTI that, “An attack on a policeman doing his duty is unprecedented in our state. We would arrest the remaining accused soon.”

Shaikh later told PTI that he was only doing his duty.

“On the previous night I had requested the people humbly to remove the tag as there was a dispute and it was a sensitive matter.”

Meanwhile, various social organisations from the Marathwada region of Maharashtra condemned the attack on the two cops.

They demanded that strict action be taken against the accused.

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