Uneasy calm in Ratnagiri after BJP-Shiv Sena (UBT) clashes; Maha Police book over 350

Ratnagiri (Maharashtra), Feb 17 – Uneasy calm prevailed in the tourist destinations of Chiplun and Guhagar surroundings a day after clashes and stone-pelting between Bharatiya Janata Party and Shiv Sena (UBT) activists, in both towns, here on Saturday.

The Ratnagiri Police cracked the whip by booking more than 350 accused from both parties indulging in the violence on the busy Mumbai-Goa National Highway that left several dozen vehicles damaged and many nearby homes also suffered collateral damage.

At least, a dozen of the rioters from both sides and six police personnel were also injured in the vicious stone-pelting incidents.

The skirmishes, arising out of the old political rivalry between supporters of BJP ex-MP, Nilesh N. Rane and Shiv Sena (UBT) local strongman plus Guhagar MLA, Bhaskar Jadhav, saw the police bursting teargas shells and mildly caning (lathi-charge) the protestors to disperse them.

Son of Union MSME Minister Narayan Rane, Nilesh Rane was proceeding to address a public meeting at Tali village late evening when Jadhav’s supporters resorted to loud protests in Chiplun, raising anti-BJP slogans, triggering the ruckus.

At that time, Nilesh Rane’s vehicular convoy was passing near the offices of Jadhav in Chiplun that led to the clashes, damaging many vehicles and homes in the vicinity.

The Ratnagiri Police deployed tight security in the vicinity from Friday evening till Saturday morning when Chiplun resembled a town under curfew with little public or vehicular movements visible.

The police have also beefed up security around Jadhav’s office and homes as a precaution, and the situation is now under control.

Nilesh Rane has been a former Congress MP from the Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg Lok Sabha constituency, but was unseated by Shiv Sena (UBT)’s Vinayak Raut in 2014 who retained it for a second term in 2019.

After Narayana Rane was denied a Rajya Sabha nomination for the biennial elections, he (Narayan Rane) is likely to lock horns with Raut in the upcoming LS polls, making it a prestige issue for both parties.

The police have zeroed in on around 200 activists from both sides and the process is on to book them.


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