The police assaulted several Congress activists, including from the youth and student wings, when they tried to protest against Prime Minister Narendra Modis visit to the city on Wednesday.
The trouble erupted when some Youth Congress and National Students Union of India activists stood near the roads and raised slogans of ‘Chowkidar Chor Hai’. Others raised black flags and released black balloons as Modi’s motorcade zoomed past.
Angered by this, plainclothes security personnel pounced on the activists, pushed and dragged them, kicking and punching them brutally.
“An Emergency-like situation has prevailed in Solapur since the past couple of days… Party activists, municipal corporators and other elected leaders were served notices, questioned on their movements and today even prevented from staging peaceful protests,” Congress legislator Praniti (Sushilkumar) Shinde told IANS.
She added that several activists – including Nivrutti Gavhane, Ganesh Dongre, Shubham Mane, Shivraj Birajdar, Sidhhram Sagare – were detained by the police.
At least one activist was arrested and slapped with serious charges by the police. But after appeals by local Congress leaders, the charges were modified while others were allowed to go, said Shinde.
Modi, along with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, spent half a day in Solapur to kickstart the Bharatiya Janata Party’s 2019 Lok Sabha election campaign.