Violence reported during Maharashtra bandh

Violence reported during Maharashtra bandh

Maratha Kranti Morcha protesters take part in a rally during their Maharashtra bandh, called to press for reservations in jobs and education, at Patan in Satara on Thursday. PTI photo

Incidents of violence were reported from Pune and Aurangabad districts during the day-long bandh on Thursday called by various organisations and groups demanding reservation for the Maratha community.

In Nagpur city, a group of youths attempted to come before a moving train, however, there was a timely intervention by police, who brought them to safety.

In the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, there was no major impact of the bandh.

However, in the suburbs, groups of youths moved on roads keeping vigil that shops remain shut.

In Kolhapur district, during the day, the inter-city government and private buses did not run affecting the Maharashtra-Karnataka traffic.

From the depot of the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation in Mumbai, very few buses went out.

For the government, there was some relief as the state government employees who were agitating and were on strike for the last three days demanding the implementation of the Pay Commission report reported back to work post noon.

The Sakal Maratha Samaj and the Maratha Kranti Morcha on Thursday observed the second anniversary for their peaceful morchas— coinciding with the commemoration of the Quit India movement.

The politically-strong Maratha community that comprises 32 to 35% of the state’s population has been demanding a 16% reservation in jobs and education.

The matter is pending before the Bombay High Court, which is awaiting a report from the Maharashtra State Backward Classes Commission.

A report from Aurangabad said that huge crowd assembled at the Kranti Chowk. In some places, tyres were burnt affecting traffic.

In Pune, people assembled at the Chandni Chowk and also barged into the Collectorate office. Police had to resort to mild caning.

However, the Maratha association said that miscreants have created problems to derail the movement.

“We have appealed for peaceful protest. We have made it clear. However, some people are trying to take advantage and create trouble,” said Rajendra Kondhare, general secretary of Maratha Mahasangh and one of the conveners of Maratha Kranti Morcha.

In Baramati, activists undertook a sit-in outside the residence of Maratha strongman and NCP supremo Sharad Pawar.

 However, since Pawar was in New Delhi, his nephew Ajit Pawar spoke to the agitators and endorsed their demand.

In Latur, Congress legislator Trimbak Bhise’s vehicle was stoned and he was roughed up before the security officials whisked him to safety.

There were roadblocks on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway, Mumbai-Goa Highway, Mumbai-Nashik Highway and the old Mumbai-Pune Highway which remained practically traffic-free due to the shutdown.

Meanwhile, in Nashik, a state transport bus was targeted and in Solapur, tyres were burnt on the Madha-Shetfal Road.

While in Nanded district farmers brought bullock carts and blocked the, In Parbhani, cattle were fed on the road blocking the vehicular movement.