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Maratha bandh evokes strong response in Pune: violence reported from district collectorate, Chandani chowk

Barring a few incidents of violence wherein protestors damaged the district collectorate – the bandh was peaceful in the city as well as rural parts of the district.

pune Updated: Aug 09, 2018 16:51 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Pune
Maratha bandh,Pune,strong response
Maratha preotestors at the Urse toll naka on the Pune-Mumbai expressway on Thursday. (HT PHOTO)

The statewide bandh called by Maratha outfits evoked strong response in Pune with shops, commercial establishments and public transport affected. However, the bandh which started on a peaceful note in the morning, turned violent in the later half of the day with protestors damaging the district collectorate as well as reports of stone pelting on policemen were reported.

At the collectorate, protestors damaged window panes and furniture accusing the district collector of not coming down to the ground floor to receive their memorandum. At Chandani chowk, police were trying to disperse protestors from the national highway 4 (NH4), when some of the protestors started pelting stones at the policemen. In response, police had to resort to lathi charge.

Market yard, one of the main centres of commercial activity and other commercial establishments were closed while emergency services were excluded from the bandh. All schools and colleges were also closed in Pune city and the district after the district collector Naval Kishore Ram issued an advisory.

In view of the bandh, Pune mahanagar parivahan mahamandal limited (PMPML), city’s public transport body, decided to suspend bus services on 14 routes.

The Maratha outfits have assured police during their meeting on Tuesday that the bandh will be peaceful.

Meanwhile, internet in several parts of the state was reportedly suspended after the bandh call by Maratha agitators resulted in early morning incidents of violence from Hingoli, Latur and Nagpur-Mumbai highway.

Internet was suspended in parts of Pune district including Baramati, Shirur, Khed, Junnar, Maval, Bhor and Daund, as per government decision, said Dayanand Gawade, police inspector of Pune rural police local crime branch.

Vishwas Nangre-Patil, special inspector general of Kolhapur range - which includes Pune, Ahmednagar, Satara, Kolhapur and Sangli - while speaking to the media, said that the Internet services were suspended in order to prevent people from spreading rumours about the agitation.

“No untoward incidents have been reported from our jurisdiction on Thursday,” said Sandip Patil, superintendent of Pune rural police.

As the clock struck 9 am, the places generally filled with people like bus stops and railway station, were deserted. However, small businesses like general stores, dairy shops, bakeries remained open.

Meanwhile, K Venkatesham, the newly appointed commissioner of Pune police, appealed to citizens to go about their daily routines. “Organisers will do a peaceful protest at the collector’s office. Citizens are requested to continue with their daily schedules. More than 7,000 police personnel have been deputed for least inconvenience.Please confirm from control room or tweet to @PuneCityPolice before you forward or act,” he tweeted on Thursday morning around 8am.

He made the appeal even as the schools and colleges were informed by the education department to remain closed for the day. The Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) has also released a note of caution to their employees.

First Published: Aug 09, 2018 15:41 IST