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Maharashtra bandh: Maratha groups call for 'peaceful protest' over demand for quota, security tightened

8 August, 2018 5:06 PM
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Maharashtra bandh: Maratha groups call for 'peaceful protest' over demand for quota, security tightened

Mumbai: More than 2000 police personnel have been deployed across Maharashtra ahead of a state-wide bandh called by the Maratha groups on Thursday. In an addition, 900 home guards, three SRPF coy, one RAF company, 20 striking platoons have been stationed at Pune to tackle the crowd.

"2200 policemen, 900 home guards , 3 SRPF coy, 1 RAF company, 20 striking platoons have been deployed at Pune ahead of statewide protest called by Maratha Kranti Morcha over demand for #MarathaReservation, tomorrow," SP Pune Rural Sandip Patil said.

Maratha Kranti Morcha and other Maratha groups have been protesting over the demand for reservation. "Adequate police deployment has been done to ensure peaceful bandh tomorrow," said Manjunath Shinghe, Mumbai Police PRO.

Earlier in the day, Sakal Maratha Samaj, an umbrella body of Maratha groups, said a 'bandh' would be observed across Maharashtra, except Navi Mumbai, on Thursday to press for the community's demand for reservation.

A leader of the organisation said the protest would be held in a peaceful manner from 8 am to 6 pm. Parts of Maharashtra, especially Koparkhairane and Kalamboli in Navi Mumbai, had witnessed violence during the Maratha quota stir late last month.

Around 20 policemen, including eight officers, were injured in stone-pelting by protesters at Kopar Khairane and Kalamboli. A protester, injured in the violence in Navi Mumbai, had succumbed to his injuries. A number of people from the community had earlier committed suicide in support of the quota demand.

Another Maratha faction has given a call to only hold a sit-in outside the Mumbai suburban district collector's office.

Marathas, a politically influential community that constitutes around 30 per cent of the state's population, have been demanding a 16 per cent reservation. The community had earlier taken out silent marches across the state to highlight their demands, prominent among them being that of reservation.

The agitation, however, turned violent after a 27-year-old protester jumped to his death in Godavari river near Aurangabad on July 23.

Violence had also erupted at Chakan near Pune during the Maratha quota agitation in the last week of July. Four policemen had been injured in stone-pelting during the protest at Chakan, where the mob also damaged nearly sixty vehicles, including state and civic-run buses and police jeeps.


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