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Maratha Outfits Call For Mumbai Bandh Today as Quota Stir Turns Violent

In the last few days, protests have take place in Buldhana, Akola, Parali, Washim and even in Mumbai.


Updated:July 24, 2018, 11:58 PM IST

Mumbai: Maratha outfits in the state have called for a bandh in Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai, and several other areas of the state on Wednesday. The decision was taken at a meeting of Maratha organisations at Shivaji Mandir in Mumbai on Tuesday afternoon by the Maratha Kranti Morcha, an umbrella body of various community bodies.

It comes after violent protests erupted in parts of Maharashtra over the community's demand for quota in government jobs and education. The Maratha Kranti Morcha had called for a state-wide bandh on Tuesday after a young protester named Kakasaheb Dattatreya Shindecommitted suicide in Aurangabad district on Monday.

Two more people attempted suicide in the state on Tuesday. Jayant Sonavne jumped into a river and Jagannath Sonavne alias Guddu consumed poison in Deogaon Rangari in Aurangabad. They are undergoing treatment at a local hospital.

To press home their demand, the Morcha workers also tonsured their heads in Aurangabad's Gangapur during their protest. They also set a truck ablaze. Spontaneous shutdowns, road and rail blockades, processions and stray incidents of arson were also reported from different parts of the state.

The morcha had on Monday demanded an apology from Fadnavis for alleging that some members from the community were planning violence at Pandharpur town in Solapur district, where the chief minister was earlier scheduled to visit a temple on 'Ashadhi Ekadashi'.

A pro-reservation Maratha leader said the protests would continue until the Chief Minister apologised to the community.

"We will continue our agitation until Chief Minister Fadnavis apologises to the Maratha community. We will observe bandh in Aurangabad and other parts of the state today," Ravindra Patil, the coordinator of a pro-reservation group of Marathas, said.

Various Maratha groups have announced a Maharashtra shutdown on August 9 - celebrated as August Kranti Day - to intensify the agitation going on since nearly two years.

All major political parties including Congress' Ashok Chavan and Sachin Sawant, Nationalist Congress Party's Jitendra Awhad and others have urged the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party government to resolve the issue of Maratha reservations expeditiously.

The Maratha reservation agitation has also forced Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray to cut short his tour of Marathwada.

| Edited by: Ashutosh Tripathi
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