Aurangabad: Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar, formerly Aurangabad, in Maharashtra will be at the center of the state’s political action on Sunday with a rally by the Maha Vikas Aghadi as well as the Savarkar Gaurav Yatra being organised by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, both events coming just days after Marathwada’s largest city saw rioting and arson.
A top police official said security arrangements were in place to ensure both events pass off without any untoward incident.
The intervening night of Wednesday and Thursday saw rioting and arson in the city’s Kiradpura area amid Ram Navami, leaving one person dead, several policemen injured and property, including vehicles, damaged and gutted.
The MVA rally will be held on Sunday evening at Marathwada Sanskrutik Mandal ground, with speakers being led by Shiv Sena (UBT) chief Uddhav Thackeray, senior Nationalist Congress Party leader Ajit Pawar and Maharashtra Congress president Nana Patole.
“The preparations for the rally are complete. The ground will be filled to capacity and we have also made arrangements to set up equipment for people outside the venue to hear the speeches,” Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Subhash Desai said after inspecting the site on Saturday.
The city is now peaceful and the earlier incidents will have no impact on the rally, he said, adding at least five to six such rallies will be held across the state.
Meanwhile, in a video released on Twitter, Shiv Sena (UBT) MLC Ambadas Danve asked his party functionaries to assemble for the rally calmly and peacefully as there may be an attempt to cause friction among communities.
The Bharatiya Janata Party’s ‘Savarkar Gaurav Yatra’ will begin from a chowk named after the late Hindutva ideologue, which is just a kilometer away from the MVA rally site.
The march in honour of Savarkar and to oppose routine attacks on him by the Congress and its leader Rahul Gandhi will cover all three Assembly seats in the city and culminate at Ahilyabai Holkar Chowk, a BJP office-bearer said.
Talking to PTI, Deputy Commissioner of Police Deepak Girhe said, “The routes and locations of rally and yatra are different. We will deploy nearly 300 policemen for both events to ensure they take place smoothly.”
At least 12 persons, including 10 policemen, were injured after a mob of around 500 people hurled stones and petrol-filled bottles when police personnel tried to control the situation following a clash between two groups near the Ram temple in Kiradpura locality of Aurangabad on the intervening night of Wednesday and Thursday.
As many as seven persons have been arrested following the mob attack, while an injured man died in hospital.