Maratha bandh in Pune: Normal life disrupted in a season of anti-government protests in Maharashtra
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Maratha bandh in Pune: Normal life disrupted in a season of anti-government protests in Maharashtra

While the Maratha bandhs and vandalism at Chakan 10 days ago were the most disruptive and destructive, the half-day transporters strike on July 20 and the milk agitation on July 15 also affected normal life.

pune Updated: Aug 10, 2018 15:14 IST
Parth Welankar
Parth Welankar
Hindustan Times, Pune
pune,maharashtra,maratha bandh
The initial peaceful demonstrations of the Maratha community organisations demanding reservations have now transformed into violent protests by leaderless groups taking the law into their own hands.(Shankar Narayan/HT PHOTO)

In the last one month, Maharashtra has witnessed repeated disruption of daily life due to strikes, bandhs and protests against the government by various groups such as the Maratha community, transporters body, state government employees and milk agitators.

While the Maratha bandhs and vandalism at Chakan 10 days ago were the most disruptive and destructive, the half-day transporters strike on July 20 and the milk agitation on July 15 also affected normal life.

The initial peaceful demonstrations of the Maratha community organisations demanding reservations have now transformed into violent protests by leaderless groups taking the law into their own hands.

The violence in Chakan on July 30 during a bandh called by the Sakal Maratha Samaj caused considerable damage to public and private property including state government buses with the state government taking a very serious cognisance of the incident. Nearly 4,000 persons were booked for the vandalism on that day and 42 arrested over two days.

The Maratha agitation’s state-level co-ordinators had called for a Maharashtra bandh on Thursday and protesters planned a sit-in outside the collector’s office. Another faction had announced a bandh demanding 16% reservation for the community in education and government jobs.

On August 7 and 8, state government employees decided to go on a three-day strike to demand immediate implementation of the Seventh Pay Commission, while pressing for other issues such as payment of dearness allowance (DA) for 14 months, five-day working week and increasing the retirement age to 60 years.

The milk protest headed by the BJP government’s ally-turned-foe Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatna leader Raju Shetti sought an increase in payment to farmers which the government acceded to. Milk supply was severely hit in major cities of Maharashtra as protesting farmers and leaders demanded higher procurement prices. The state government finally decided to give Rs 25 per litre for milk to dairy farmers with effect from August 1.

The nationwide transport strike was observed by the private bus service operators on July 20 to protest against various issues including, constant hike in diesel prices; toll expenses; GST compliance issues; and practical problems with e-way bills.

First Published: Aug 10, 2018 14:42 IST