The police on Thursday morning had to resort to lathi charge and use tear gas to bring under control a group of irate, stone-pelting villagers protesting over being denied access to the Defence road in Pune's Bopkhed area.
The agitated mob was indulging in stone pelting at the College of Military Engineering (CME). Five policemen and 50 villagers were injured in the inncident. More than 100 agitators have been detained by police.
Police lathicharge to quell the unrly mob.
According to the authorities, the dispute is regarding a road, which passes through the College of Military Engineering (CME) in Bopkhel area on the Pune-Mumbai road. Earlier, the citizens were allowed to use the road on certain conditions since the college is in a high security area.
To overcome this problem, an Public Interest Litigation (PIL) had been filed demanding relaxation in restrictions and conditions to use the road. The Bombay High Court askedsubsequently asked the district collector and Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Commissioner to file an affidavit with possible alternatives and other possible routes till July to ease local’s movement. Till then the civil use of the road was restricted from last week.
High drama was seen at Bhopkhed area on Thursday morning when around 10 am the villagers, who were denied access to the road from Dapodi to Bhopkhed by CME on security ground, started their agitation.
Initially, the protest by the around 1000 villagers was peaceful. Senior police officers and other prominent people including local MLA Gautam Chabukswar and Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation Commissioner Rajiv Jadhav rushed to spot and requested the villagers to maintain peace in area but some people deliberately tried to enter military establishment, which sparked the conflict between security personnel and civilians.
A section of the crowd started throwing stones at the CME’s jawan's direction, which escalated. Later, the agitated mob ransacked a police vehicle injuring some cops. Following this , the police lathicharged and used tear gas to control the violent crowd.
Earlier during visit a to the city, Defense Minister Manoher Parriker had held discussions on the defence land issues in Pimpri-Chinchwad area with local leaders, residents and officers, where he assured an appropriate solution on the whole issue.