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Maratha stir: Chakan counts the cost, blames ‘outsiders’

Strong police presence ensures peace prevails at industrial hub

pune Updated: Aug 01, 2018 15:31 IST
Shrinivas Deshpande
Shrinivas Deshpande
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited employees undertaking repair works of a bus after 10 buses were torched in Maratha protest on Tuesday.(HT PHOTO)

Over 500 policemen marched in a straight file keeping vigil on the same streets in Chakan where violence had erupted on Monday. Even though an uneasy calm prevailed in the industrial township and its surrounding areas on Tuesday, policemen and CRPF personnel kept strict supervision as a precautionary measure.

Police personnel were posted at various chowks and entry and exit points of the town.

Over 100 vehicles were damaged, 30 of them torched and eight policemen were injured after Maratha protestors demanding reservations turned violent on Monday in the industrial town. The total loss incurred due to the violence was pegged at ₹10 crore, said police officials.

No incidents of violence were reported on Tuesday amid normalcy slowly creeping back as shops and commercial establishments were seen open in the morning though not many people were seen stepping out of their homes fearing fresh violence. “While protests are not new here, we had never seen anything like this before in Chakan wherein police personnel were targeted,” said Satish Mule, a resident, who decided to stay at home on Tuesday.

Most industries in Chakan, which is known as the automobile hub of India, functioned normally. During the violence, around 1.5 lakh workers employed with around 750 small and big industrial units were holed up in their offices as the protestors had blocked most roads. It was only late on Monday evening, when workers returned home.

As a precautionary measure, most schools and colleges were shut. Santosh Daundkar, secondary teacher, Zilla Parishad school, said, “On Monday, the protestors had set many vehicles on fire. Hence, we decided to keep the school shut for security reasons.”

While roads were cleared by the police on Tuesday morning, MSRTC decided not to ply buses to Chakan, Nashik and Rajgurunagar from Swargate and Shivajinagar. As a result, passengers were stranded at the Chakan depot and had to return home.

First Published: Aug 01, 2018 15:30 IST