Maratha outfits call for state bandh today as momentum builds; several detained in Pune at Fadnavis event
The agitation by Maratha community for reservation in government jobs and education today took a tragic turn after a 27-year-old protester jumped to his death in Godavari river.Updated: Jul 24, 2018 15:09 IST
Hindustan Times, Pune
A call for a statewide bandh today, death of a youth, and arrests marked a day that Maratha activists are citing as a watershed moment in the stirring up of demands for state reservations.
Ravindra Kale Patil, convenor, Maratha Kranti Morcha, Aurangabad, called for a Maharashtra bandh on July 24. “Against the backdrop of today’s suicide of a Maratha youth,we have called for a Maharashtra bandh on Tuesday. The Maratha youth was protesting for reservations,” Patil said. The focal point of Maratha zeal on Monday was CM Devendra Fadnavis.
The agitation by Maratha community for reservation in government jobs and education today took a tragic turn after a 27-year-old protester jumped to his death in Godavari river. Kakasaheb Shinde, a resident of Kaygaon village in Aurangabad district, jumped off a bridge over Godavari river, police said. He was rushed to a nearby hospital where he was declared dead, they said.
At Fadnavis’ Chinchwad event - laying down of the foundation stone for a memorial to the Chaphekar brothers - 20 protesters of the Maratha Kranti Morcha were detained by police.
However, that did not stop Maratha protester Rupali Patil from attending the event and shouting the slogan: ‘Ek Maratha,Lakh Maratha’, just as Fadnavis began his speech in the twin industrial township. Patil was quickly removed from the area by police.
Ganesh Shinde, deputy police commissioner, said, “As a precautionary measure we have detained 20 protestors of the Maratha Kranti Morcha when they were on their way to venue of CM’s event.”
The Maratha Kranti Morcha leader, Kale Patil, appealed to protestors to avoid stone pelting and to not warkaris returning from Pandharpur.
Sambhaji Brigade, another Maratha outfit, also threatened to escalate protests if Fadnavis does not apologise for his remarks on Sunday, when he blamed some Maratha outfits for trying to create trouble at Pandharpur.
The calls by the Maratha Kranti Morcha demanding reservation had turned violent on July 21, as protestors burnt a state transport bus at Sangola in Solapur district.The district also witnessed two incidents of stone pelting on ST buses.
In Pandharpur, a farmer couple from Hingoli district performed the traditional puja along with Solapur district guardian minister, Vijay Deshmukh, in the temple’s sanctum sanctorum, on Monday.
A pro-quota leader of the Maratha community had announced last week in Pandharpur that should Fadnavis visit the temple town, “they would be massive protest that would disrupt the puja”.
First Published: Jul 23, 2018 23:29 IST