Maratha outfits call for bandh in Mumbai, Thane & Navi Mumbai on Wednesday
As the stir for reservation in jobs and education intensified on Tuesday, Maratha outfits including Maratha Kranti Morcha – which is spearheading the agitation – called for a Mumbai bandh tomorrow.
The Morcha leaders decided to call for a Mumbai bandh after a meeting in Dadar. At another meeting of the Sakal Maratha Samaj in adjoining Vashi, it was decided to call for a bandh tomorrow in Navi Mumbai and Panvel as well.
Maratha outfit, Maratha Kranti Samaj, too called for bandh in Thane, Navi Mumbai and Raigad tomorrow.
“We will observe a peaceful bandh in Thane, Navi Mumbai, Raigad to be bandh tomorrow (25 July). Schools and colleges will not be included in this bandh as we do not intend to trouble anyone,” Maratha Kranti Samaj Spokesperson told ANI.
While agitators have assured that public transport and emergency services will be allowed to operate, Mumbai police, taking cognizance of the bandh call, has made necessary arrangements.
“All the necessary deployments have been put in place. We have also instructed our vigilance teams to keep a watch at sensitive pockets. We have told them to protest peacefully: DCP Deepak Deoraj, PRO, Mumbai Police said after the call for Mumbai Bandh.
The protest turned violent today after agitators clashed with police and torched vehicles in Aurangabad and adjoining districts of Maharashtra.
A constable died and another was injured in stone pelting earlier in the day as a state-wide protest called by outfits seeking reservation for the Maratha community.
Maharashtra: Maratha Kranti Morcha workers set a truck ablaze in Aurangabad’s Gangapur during their protest, demanding reservation for Maratha community in govt jobs & education. pic.twitter.com/NiU8RmcAjD
— ANI (@ANI) July 24, 2018
The outfit had called for today’s Maharashtra bandh after the death of a protestor yesterday during a protest march in favour of reservations.
The 27-year-old Kakasaheb Shinde, had jumped off a bridge over Godavari river in Aurangabad. He was rushed to a hospital where he was declared dead.
Quotas for Marathas, a politically influential community that constitutes around 30 percent of the state’s population, has been a hugely contentious issue.
Another protester, 31-year-old Jagannath Sonawane from Aurangabad district, today sought to emulate Shinde’s example by jumping onto a dry river bed. He has been admitted to a government hospital in Aurangabad.
Shiv Sena MP Chandrakant Khaire faced the ire of the protestors when he went to attend Shinde’s last rites at his Kaygaon village in Aurangabad today.
Khaire was manhandled by the crowd present there and had to beat a hasty retreat, police said, adding that there was stone pelting as well on the MP’s car.
Shinde’s death has triggered a fresh set of protests in several parts of Maharashtra.
Internet services were suspended in rural areas of Aurangabad district to prevent any untoward incident.
At Kaygaon, protesters shouted slogans hailing Shinde as a ‘martyr’, police said.
Sham Atgaonkar, a police constable from Osmanabad who was deployed on duty at Kaygaon, died soon after a commotion, which followed stone pelting. The cause of death is not ascertained yet.
Another constable was injured in stone pelting and a fire brigade van was also set afire at Kaygaon by the protesters, police said.
“We will continue our agitation until Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis apologises to the Maratha community. We will observe bandh in Aurangabad and other parts of the state today,” Morcha coordinator Ravindra Patil said.
Fadnavis had cancelled his visit to a temple in Pandharpur after protesting Maratha outfits threatened to disrupt the event.
The community leaders have earlier taken out several rallies in various districts to highlight their demands. Last year, a huge rally was organised by the Maratha Kranti Morcha in this connection in Mumbai.
Despite assurances from Fadnavis to fulfil the demands, nothing concrete has been done till now, community leaders have claimed.
With agency inputs