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Maharashtra: Pro-quota supporters vandalise offices, public transport vehicles across state

Updated on: 01 November,2023 01:00 AM IST  |  Jalna
Agencies |

Protesters set panchayat office ablaze in Jalna, damage 85 MSRTC buses, burn tyres on highway; 50 people arrested

Maharashtra: Pro-quota supporters vandalise offices, public transport vehicles across state

Smoke billows out of an office of NCP set on fire by agitators, in Beed district. Pics/PTI

A group of people set ablaze a panchayat samiti office in Jalna district during the ongoing agitation over the demand for reservation to the Maratha community, police said on Tuesday. Some quota supporters chanting “Ek Maratha Lakh Maratha” reached the panchayat samiti office at Ghansawangi in the district on Tuesday, vandalised the premises and set it on fire, they said.

Police rushed to the spot quickly and doused the flames, but some important documents and furniture in two rooms of the office were damaged, an official from Ghansawangi police station said.

MSRTC bus ops suspended 

Services of the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) buses have been stopped completely in five districts of Marathwada —Parbhani, Dharashiv, Latur, Jalna and Nanded—for the last three-four days while they have been hit to some extent in Beed, Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar and Solapur districts, said an official of the state-owned corporation.

As many as 36 of the 250 bus depots of MSRTC in Maharashtra were shut on account of the agitation as of Monday evening, he said.

Maratha community people shave their heads in support of Maratha reservation activist Manoj Jarange Patil in Mumbai  Maratha community people shave their heads in support of Maratha reservation activist Manoj Jarange Patil in Mumbai  

More than 85 MSRTC buses were damaged—the highest 70 in Beed district— and four buses were torched by agitators over the last four days, the official added. The MSRTC has sustained a loss of Rs 4 crore so far due to damage to its buses and attacks on other properties, the official said.

Tyres burnt on highway

Pro-Maratha quota protesters on Tuesday blocked the Mumbai-Bengaluru Highway in Pune and burnt tyres to press for the demand for reservation, police said. “A group of protesters blocked the road at Navale bridge on the Mumbai-Bengaluru Highway this afternoon, shouted slogans and set seven to eight tyres on fire,” an official from Sinhgad Road police station said.

The movement of vehicles was initially stopped in both lanes and was partially restored later, he said. The police, meanwhile, have beefed up security outside the houses and offices of politicians belonging to the Maratha community in Pune.

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“We have increased security outside the houses and offices of political leaders belonging to the Maratha community,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (Special Branch) Raja Ramaswami said.

49 people arrested in Beed

Police have arrested 49 people in connection with the violence in Maharashtra’s Beed district during the ongoing agitation for Maratha reservation, an official said on Tuesday.

A curfew was imposed in parts of Beed district on Monday evening after a series of incidents of violence and arson targeting properties of politicians. The situation is currently under control, Beed Superintendent of Police Nandkumar Thakur said.

Fadnavis condemns violence 

Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday said authorities have identified 50 to 55 people who were involved in violent activities in various parts of the state during the ongoing Maratha quota agitation, and asserted culprits will face strict action.

Fadnavis, who also holds the home portfolio, condemned violence and arson by quota protesters who targeted homes or offices of three MLAs besides some local political leaders and torched a municipal council building during the stir in Beed and Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar districts on Monday.

Speaking to reporters here, he said agitators who tried to burn down a house in Beed district with family members inside will face attempt to murder charges. The government has taken serious note of these incidents and the miscreants will face strict action, he said.

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