Mumbai: Stir demanding reservation by some Maratha groups which took a violent turn Friday September 01, 2023 in Jalna, spread to more districts with protests in Solapur, Aurangabad, Nagpur and other cities of Maharashtra.
Protestors squatted and blocked the Solapur-Pune Highway, vociferous agitations were held in Nagpur, Aurangabad, and a call was given for a shutdown in Beed and Jalna today.
Thousands of protestors demanding reservations in jobs and education for Marathas gathered at the Antarvali-Sarathi village in Ambad region Friday evening, where the Maratha Morcha convenor, Manoj Jarange and others were sitting on a hunger-strike since Tuesday, August 29, 2023.
As Jarange’s condition seemed to deteriorate, a police posse attempted to break up the agitation and compel him to break his hunger strike which apparently enraged his supporters.
In the ensuing melee the police allegedly attempted to disperse the crowds with stern warnings which went unheeded.
The police retaliated by caning the protestors after stone pelting, bursting teargas and even chasing away the protestors, leading to at least two dozen persons getting injured, including some policemen.
The BJP led Maharashtra govt police brutally attacks on Maratha community people at Ambhat Jalna who were demanding reservations for community. Several protestors are badly injured. Opposition condemned the attack saying police unnecessarily used force to disperse protestors. pic.twitter.com/8jYhfwUGbA— Sudhir Suryawanshi (@ss_suryawanshi) September 1, 2023
The BJP led Maharashtra govt police brutally attacks on Maratha community people at Ambhat Jalna who were demanding reservations for community. Several protestors are badly injured. Opposition condemned the attack saying police unnecessarily used force to disperse protestors. pic.twitter.com/8jYhfwUGbA
The angry protestors ran off from the spot and later torched at least two buses on the outskirts of the village, and later there were reports of arson from Aurangabad, and more protests in other districts today, according to news agency IANS.
The aftermath of the incident witnessed incidents of arson in various places of Maharashtra. In Dhule, arson led to traffic congestion, while in Aurangabad, protesters set afir vehicles early in the morning, according to local reports. Disturbing visuals emerged, capturing the moment a bus was set ablaze, as the Maratha demonstrators turned increasingly aggressive.
Maratha protesters have declared a bandh in Jalna, Nandurbar, Beed, Osmanabad, Hingoli, Parbhani, and Latur to condemn the lathicharge.
Additionally, several talukas will witness administrative closures, escalating tensions and potentially further turmoil.
Chief Minister Eknath Shinde meanwhile appealed for peace and calm.
The Opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) allies Congress, Shiv Sena (UBT) and Nationalist Congress Party (SP) have slammed the ruling Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party-Nationalist Congress Party (AP) allies for the violence and unprovoked police actions.
Taking strong note, NCP President Sharad Pawar rushed to Jalna from Mumbai to a spot assessment of the situation, while Congress’ Leader Of Opposition Vinay Wadettiwar and Chhatrapati Sambhajiraje visited the city.
Sena (UBT) MP Sanjay Raut blamed the government for the violence and police caning.
Congress state President Nana Patole has demanded that if the government cannot ensure quotas for Marathas, then CM Eknath Shinde should resign.
Aam Aadmi Party and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray have also slammed the government for the violence that erupted last evening.
The MVA has termed the violence as reportedly instigated to divert attention from the National Opposition parties’ INDIA Conclave that was just concluding in Mumbai last evening.
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