More than twenty people including eleven police officers and MP form the Georgian Dream ruling party Irakli Cheishvili were hurt in clashes of protesters and police in the Georgian coastal city of Batumi, Adjara, Healthcare Minister of Adjara Zaal Mikeladze announced.
According to Georgian media, the situation in Batumi became tense after in the evening of March 11 road police officer Kakhaber Bukhradze stopped a car for a driving offence and, as witnesses say, insulted the driver. The latter was supported by local residents which resulted in a scuffle. Six people were detained for failing to obey to police officers. After that thousands of people took to the streets protesting against police actions in front of the Adjara Main Interior Department. Participants of the rally claim that after a new road police chief, Malkhaz Batiashvili, was appointed, police officers started fining people without grounds. The protesters urged Batiashvili to resign and to release those detained. A special forces unit arrived to the scene preventing the protesters from entering the building.
Adjara Supreme Council President Zurab Pataradze cut short his visit to Turkey to return to Batumi as soon as possible. When the protesters started throwing stones and put on fire several cars, the police used tear gas.
Later, Georgian Interior Minister Giorgi Mgebrishvili said the people detained were released. Their actions will be investigated. Mgebrishvili promised they would face trial. According to him, the events in Batumi are inadmissible and obscene.
The leader of the Publican Party Khatuna Samnidze told reporters that it had been a planned action against the new chief of the local police who “started bringing the city to rights.”