Police gear up to prevent protest in Pandharpur

Police gear up to prevent protest in temple town Pandharpur

Representative Image. Credit: AFP Photo

Barricades have been put up in Pandharpur town in Solapur district of Maharashtra to prevent members of the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) and Warkaris from holding any protest on Monday for reopening of the famous temple of Lord Vitthal, police said on Sunday.

The VBA, led by Prakash Ambedkar, had supported the demand of the Vishwa Warkari Sena (VWS), an outfit of devotees of Lord Vitthal, to reopen the temple, which has been shut due to Covid-19 restrictions.

The VWS had given a memorandum to Solapur district administration demanding that all temples be reopened in Maharashtra and warned of a protest on August 31.

"In view of the agitation called by VBA and VWS in Pandharpur, we have barricaded roads leading to Pandharpur and to the temple," said Atul Zene, Additional Superintendent of Police, Solapur.

He said 400 police personnel have been deployed and nakabadi checking is underway.

"We are taking all precautions to ensure that there is no spread of coronavirus during the agitation," the ASP said.

He said district officials have been conducting meetings with various bodies of warkaris to dissuade them from going ahead with the agitation.

Another senior police officer said notices have been served to members of the VBA and other outfits under section 149 of CrPC (for prevention of cognisable offences).

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