100 persons arrested, several injured, including women and police personnel

Police burst teargas shells and resorted to indiscriminate lathi-charge on protesters when they attempted to enter the Suvarna Vidhana Soudha premises on Tuesday afternoon. Several persons, including women, were injured.

Superintendent of Police Sandeep Patil and five other policemen were injured in the stone-pelting that followed immediately after the police began caning the mob. Several private vehicles and a few buses were damaged in the stone-pelting. More than 100 persons were arrested.

The Madiga Misalati Horata Samiti (MMHS), the Justice A.J. Sadashiva Ayogada Anushthan Samiti and a large number of people belonging to the Scheduled Castes converged here to present a memorandum to the government on the early implementation of the A.J. Sadashiva Commission report that recommended internal reservation for Scheduled Caste communities.

Their other demands included budgetary provision proportionate to the population of the Madiga-Holeya community, which they claim constitutes 80 per cent of the SC population in the State. They also sought a development commission for Madigas, Holeyas and other sub-castes within the SCs.

Trouble started when the protesters, who had initially gathered near the Suvarna Vidhana Soudha, laid siege to the main gate of the Secretariat and blocked traffic on the busy Pune-Bangalore NH 4 for more than an hour. The mob became restive when no one from the government came out to receive their memorandum. According to eyewitnesses, police resorted to lathi-charge all of a sudden. The protesters retaliated by pelting stones at the police and media persons. The police also burst teargas shells to disperse the mob. Meanwhile, ambulances were rushed to the spot and the injured were shifted to the government hospital. The situation, however, was brought under control when senior officials and additional forces arrived at the spot.

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