Yavatmal: The Pusad court has granted the police, custodial remand of 16 alleged rioters, out of 27 people, against whom FIRs were registered on Wednesday evening by the police.
The city in Eastern Maharashtra (Vidarbha region) has returned to normalcy and the situation is under total control, Yavatmal Superintendent of Police Ranjan Kumar Sharma said here on Thursday.
However, the police official denied speculative reports about imposition of curfew in the city, which had appeared in a section of the media.
"We have not imposed any curfew in the riot torn city of Pusad," Sharma said, adding that Section 37 (1) of the Mumbai Police Act was imposed after the incident, while the situation was brought under control by deploying additional State Reserve Police force from neighbouring districts of Washim and Akola.
"We have registered criminal offences against 27 people and arrested 16 of them so far," Sharma said, adding that Pusad Municipal Council Deputy Chief Mohammad Nadeem was among prominent people who are suspected to have allegedly masterminded the riot.
While elaborating on the background of the incident, Sharma said that there was a verbal duel between the Mohammad Nadeem`s brother and Assistant Police Inspector on duty Dheeraj Chavan about illegal parking of motorbikes on the road during Eid day, which took an ugly turn, after more than 500 people took out a protest march to the city police station demanding suspension of API Dheeraj Chavan.
"Mohammad Nadeem contacted me on phone and reiterated their demand for action against API Chavan, after which I shifted Chavan to the police control room," Sharma said, adding that the rioters were allegedly instigated by Nadeem and his brothers which led to stone pelting and burning of shops.
He said that a peace committee meeting chaired by the
Food and Drugs Minister Manoharrao Naik on Wednesday afternoon was organised, after which an appeal was issued to the people not to indulge in rioting.
Later, Naik and present MP Bhavana Gawali also visited riot-hit areas and urged the police not to spare miscreants who create any law and order situation in the town.
"They torched four shops in the city and caused damage to the tune of around Rs 5 lakh," Sharma said.
Yavatmal Superintendent of Police Ranjan Kumar Sharma and District Collector Ashwin Mudgal also visited the city and took stock of the situation.
Meanwhile, in a related development, Mudgal was transferred to Satara, while Rahul Ranjan Mahiwal, who was Amravati`s district collector until recently, has been appointed as Yavatmal`s collector.
Outgoing Yavatmal collector Mudgal who served in the post for the last couple of years had been promoted and transferred to Yavatmal from his earlier post of CEO of the Sangli district Zilla Parishad.
"I will hand over charges to the new collector (Rahul Ranjan Mahiwal) in a day or two," Mudgal told when asked for confirmation of the development.
Incidentally, Mudgal`s tenure was largely known for transparency in functioning and he was perceived to be instrumental in giving his office and the collectorate premises, a facelift.