Maratha quota demand | Call given for Mumbai bandh on July 25

Maratha community leaders from Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Thane and Palghar address a meeting on July 24 at Shahu auditorium to announce Mumbai bandh on July 25.

Maratha community leaders from Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Thane and Palghar address a meeting on July 24 at Shahu auditorium to announce Mumbai bandh on July 25.   | Photo Credit: Prashant Nakwe

The Maratha Kranti Morcha has called for a State-wide bandh after a young protester committed suicide in Aurangabad district.

A constable died and another was injured in pelting of stones on July 24 as a State-wide protest called by outfits seeking reservation for the Maratha community turned violent with agitators clashing with police and torching vehicles in Aurangabad and adjoining districts of Maharashtra.

The Maratha Kranti Morcha had called for a Maharashtra bandh after the death of a protester on July 23 during a protest march in favour of reservation. Twenty-seven--year-old Kakasaheb Shinde, jumped off a bridge over the Godavari river in Aurangabad. He was rushed to a hospital where he was declared brought dead.

Quota for Marathas, a politically influential community that constitutes around 30 per cent of the State’s population, has been a hugely contentious issue.

Shinde’s death triggered a fresh set of protests in several parts of the State, with Opposition leaders seeking to put the onus on the BJP-led government in the State, according to PTI.

In the last few days, protests have take place in Buldhana, Akola, Parali, Washim and even in Mumbai. The community leaders had 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 Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis' promise to fulfil the demands, nothing concrete has been done till now, community leaders have claimed.




Call given for Mumbai bandh

As the stir for reservation in jobs and education intensified, the Maratha Kranti Morcha also decided to call for a Mumbai bandh on July 25.

At a meeting in Dadar, the Morcha leaders decided to call for a Mumbai bandh. At another meeting of the Sakal Maratha Samaj in adjoining Vashi, it was decided to call for a bandh in Navi Mumbai and Panvel as well.



Constable dies of heart attack

A police constable, deployed to oversee security for the funeral of Kakasaheb Shinde in Aurangabad's Kaygaon village, dies after suffering a cardiac arrest. The deceased constable has been identified as Shyam Padgaonkar.


Chandrakant Patil calls protestors ‘paid elements’

"Can the question of reservation be resolved by breaking Ministers' vehicles or torching State Transport buses? There are paid elements who trying to discredit the agitation for Maratha reservation and defame the government, which has been functioning smoothly for the past four years," says Maharashtra Revenue Minister and senior BJP leader Chandrakant Patil, speaking in Sangli.

While remarking that Kakasaheb Shinde's [Maratha agitation activist] suicide was tragic, he asked whether it would help resolve the knotty affair of reservation for the Maratha community

"Our [the BJP-Sena] govt. is ready for discussions. But the issue of reservation is now in the hands of the Bombay High Court. What is the point of agitating for something which is not in the State govt.'s control?" Mr. Shinde said.


Pelting os stones at Kaygaon Toka

The agitation has taken a hostile turn near the bridge on the river Godavari in Kaygaon Toka (where Kakasaheb Shinde committed suicide) in Aurangabad's Gangapur tehsil.

Despite robust police deployment, a restive mob got out of hand and began pelting stones on security personnel. Two police jawans have been injured after the mob damaged and torched a Fire Brigade department vehicle.


Support for 'bandh' in Sangli district, total shutdown in Beed

State transport buses in Hatkanangle in Western Maharashtra's Kolhapur district were damaged around noon on Tuesday, The Hindu correspondent Shoumojit Banerjee reports.

The 'bandh' is also seeing overwhelming support in Sangli district, with thousands of Maratha community youths on the streets, demanding immediate quota implementation and castigating Fadnavis govt for tardiness

There are some major traffic snarls in Jamkhed tehsil in Ahmednagar due to roadblocks, while there is a total shutdown in Beed and Osmanabad districts in Marathwada. Both government as well as private establishments downed shutters in response to the 'bandh' call. The bus stops in Beed wear a desolate look as 400-odd State buses are stranded sans passengers.


Raj Thackeray cuts short Marathwada tour

The agitation has forced Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray to cut short his tour of Marathwada.

Acceding to police,, Mr. Thackeray cancelled his tour of Beed district mid-morning on Tuesday and returned to Aurangabad.


Another suicide bid

Two cases of attempted suicide in Aurangabad district's Devgaon Rangari village by agitators clamouring for Maratha reservation — a 31-year-old man identified as Guddu Sonawane jumps into a stream, while Jagannath Sonawane, a 60-year-old agitator tried to take his own life by consuming poison, reports The Hindu correspondent Shoumojit Banerjee.

Both are undergoing treatment at a local hospital in Aurangabad's Kannad tehsil


Activists stage bike rally

Members of Maratha community hold bike protest rally on crowded Laxmi road, Pune.

Members of Maratha community hold bike protest rally on crowded Laxmi road, Pune.   | Photo Credit: Mandar Tannu


Intra-city commute is likely to be thrown awry as a result of the shutdown in Pune. Morcha activists will stage bike rallies throughout Pune city during the day, said Shantaram Kunjir, the Morcha's Pune co-ordinator.


Emotional scenes at Shinde's funeral

There were emotional scenes on Tuesday at the funeral of Kakasaheb Shinde, the 27-year-old youth who died by suicide, protesting delays over a reservation quota for the Maratha community.

Irate crowds raised slogans against the Devendra Fadnavis-led BJP government and the Shiv Sena MP from Aurangabad, Chandrakant Khaire, who was heckled by protestors while trying to attend the funeral

Fearing the wrath of the demonstrators, Mr. Khaire, a four time MP, was forced to beat a hasty retreat from the funeral spot.

While the State administration has ordered Gangapur Tehsildar Chandrakant Shelke and Police Inspector Sunil Birla to go on forced leave, the Aurangabad committee of the Maratha Kranti Morcha says it is not satisfied with the govt.'s decision. Speaking to The Hindu from Aurangabad, Morcha convenor, Ravindra Kale said: "Both officials must be suspended immediately. We also demand Rs. 50 lakh as compensation for Shinde's family."


Buses cancelled

State Transport buses along the Pune - Aurangabad route have been cancelled in wake of the intensity of the protest.

According to reports, nearly 60 Maharashtra State Transport buses have damaged or torched by irate protestors in the last three days

Keeping in mind the inconveniences to the lakhs of 'warkaris' (devotees) stranded in the temple town of Pandharpur (in Solapur district) on the occasion of Ashadhi Ekadashi , the Morcha has called for activists not to disrupt public transport in western Maharashtra districts and cities, namely Satara, Sangli, Kolhapur and Pune.


Fadnavis forced to cancel temple visit

After the Maratha Kranti Morcha’s warning that it would not permit Maharashtra Chief Minister to hold prayers in Pandharpur, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Sunday said he had cancelled his July 23 visit to the temple town in view of the safety of lakhs of devotees gathered on ashadhi ekadashi.

“I have decided to cancel my engagement bearing in mind the security of 10 lakh warkaris present in Pandharpur. For several years, it has become a custom for the CM to perform pooja. I have been going there for the last three years. But some organisation has objected to it this year for certain reasons. However, its method of seeking their demands by holding the warkaris hostage is improper,” Mr. Fadnavis said in Mumbai.

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The suicide

Kakasaheb Shinde (27) jumped into the Godavari river to protest increasing delays by the government in announcing a reservation quota for the Maratha community. Lifeguards pulled Mr. Shinde out and took him to a civic hospital nearby, where he was declared ‘dead before admission’.

The suicide sparked furious reactions from the Marathas, who refused to accept his body. Agitators staged a rasta roko on the Aurangabad highway on Monday, vandalised several vehicles including government ones.

Protesters also demanded a criminal case be filed against Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in the incident, and demanded ₹50 lakh as compensation for the deceased’s family.

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(With inputs from Shoumojit Banerjee and PTI)

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Printable version | Apr 4, 2020 7:26:34 PM |

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