Maratha protests peaceful in Mumbai, violent elsewhere
Protesters leave Mumbai alone but wreak havoc in Pune, Aurangabad and Nanded
The Maratha protests that kept most of Mumbai indoors on Thursday, went off peacefully in the city as the protesters did not use force. At many places, shopkeepers and commercial establishments played it safe and downed shutters. Government offices, where the staff was on the strike over a salary hike, did not suffer much. Suburban trains and BEST buses were operated as usual.
The situation in the rest of the state, however, was volatile, with road traffic was disrupted and schools remaining shut. In Virar, the Agri community refused to shut their shops, telling the Marathas that since they had cooperated during the last month's bandh, they would not suffer business losses yet again. Peace prevailed when elders of the community reached a compromise.
There was heavy police presence in the city, such as seen near Plaza theatre at Dadar. Pic/Suresh Karkera
Internet services were suspended in Pune district. The agitation, which began on a peaceful note in the morning, turned violent in the afternoon. A police car and two private vehicles were torched in Aurangabad, and the police had to resort to lathi-charge to disperse the mob.
Protest turns violent
Protesters also threw stones at the office of ex-chief minister Ashok Chavan-controlled newspaper Satyaprabha in Nanded and broke its window panes, police said. In Latur, Congress MLA Trimbakrao Bhise faced the ire of protesters, who surrounded him and pushed him away, police said. Despite an appeal from Maratha community leaders to observe the bandh peacefully, police said protesters blocked roads and burnt tyres in some places.
State BJP president and MP Raosaheb Danve said getting Marathas a quota shouldn't be a problem because the community was included in the other backward classes (OBC) in Hyderabad state (before it was drafted into Independent India). He said this point would be argued before the HC, which is hearing the case.
Also read: Maratha quota stir: Pune bears the brunt
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