Mumbai bandh by Maratha groups witness violence

Last Updated 25 July 2018, 12:55 IST

The day-long bandh in Mumbai and its neighbouring districts – called by Maratha organisations demanding reservation in jobs and education – was marred by series of incidents of violence.

In view of the volatile situation, the Maratha Kranti Morcha, the apex umbrella organization of the politically significant Maratha community – called off the protest at around 3 pm.

Immediately after that, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, invited them for talks. “The government has taken several decisions for the Maratha community. It is committed to give reservations to the Maratha community. As of now the matter is sub judice,” he said.

Slogans like ‘Ek Maratha, Lakh Maratha’ and ‘Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj ki Jai’ rent the air – as people blocked road, stopped trains, and engaged in stone pelting in Mumbai and the neigbouring districts of Palghar, Thane and Raigad.

At couple of place, police had to lathicharge protesting mob and fire tear gas shells.

The road traffic between Mumbai-Pune, Mumbai-Goa and Mumbai-Nashik was affected.

In Satara district also there protests and there was blockade for some time on the Pune-Bengalaru Highway, reports reaching here said.

According to reports collated from the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), at least two dozen private and public vehicles were damaged.

Rail rokos were reported from Jogeshwari on Western line, Thane on Central line and Ghansoli in Trans-Harbour line.

At Kalamboli off Navi Mumbai in Raigad district, protestors squatted blocking the Mumbai-Pune Expressway, one of the busiest routes.

In Thane, the two major protests were in the Teen Haath Naka and Nitin Company area. During the massive protests at the Nitin Company area, protestors pelted stones injuring policemen, who also had to use force.

During the protests, two people have committed suicide. On Monday, Kakasaheb Shinde (27) who was a driver, jumped into the Godavari river off the Kannad village in Gangapur tehsil of Aurangabad district. On Tuesday, Jagganath Sonawane (55), consumed poison at the Devgaon Rangari village in Aurangabad-Mumbai road. He died in a government hospital on Wednesday. On Tuesday, a policeman on duty, Shyam Katgaonkar (50), died of a heart attack while on bandobast at Kaigaon.

“We wanted peaceful protest, we would like to apologise for the trouble to the common man. However, they have appreciated our cause,” said Virendra Pawar, Convenor of Maratha Kranti Morcha.

Some of the members of the apex body also pointed out that some miscreants entered the protests and engaged in violence and arson. “We have appealed for peaceful protests,” they said.

(Published 24 July 2018, 14:47 IST)

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