The pro-quota Maratha organisations have called for Maharashtra bandh on Thursday. An umbrella body of Maratha groups ‘Sakal Maratha Samaj’ had on Wednesday said a bandh would be observed across the state, except in Navi Mumbai. The bandh has been called in support of the community’s demand for reservation.
“It will be a state-wide bandh, excluding Navi Mumbai. All the essential services, schools and colleges have been excluded from the bandh,” Amol Jadhavrao, a leader of Sakal Maratha Samaj told reporters. “Due to some sensitive issues, we have decided not to observe bandh in Navi Mumbai,” he added. The protest would be conducted peacefully between 8 am to 6 pm, confirmed a leader of the organisation.
Here are the LIVE Updates:
01:50 pm: Protest turns violent in Nagpur, vehicles vandalised. The pro-Maratha organisations also took out an effigy of PM Modi with bangles.
01:30 pm: Mumbai: Protesters cover their eyes and mouth with black ribbons during protest demanding Maratha reservation 10:20 am: Following statewide bandh called by Maratha Kranti Morcha over demand for Maratha Reservation, Buses of Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation, not plying as a precautionary measure in Pune. The city has seen no violence so far. But the internet services have also been suspended in parts of Pune to avoid any untoward incident.
09:30 am: Internet services have been suspended in 7 tehsils of Pune district- Shirur, Khed, Baramati, Junnar, Maval, Daund and Bhor, as a precautionary measure.
08:30 am: The bandh, which had turned violent last time, had no visible impact in parts of Mumbai as people went abut routine life. The protestors have ensured a peaceful bandh as several people from the community had earlier committed suicide in support of the quota demand.
Tight security in place
Keeping security arrangements in place, six companies of Rapid Action Force (RAF), one company each of Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and State Reserve Police Force (SRPF) at sensitive locations has been deployed by the government at sensitive locations.
Police at various locations will be assisted by home guard personnel. Maximum local police will be deployed across the metro cities and at sensitive locations in Aurangabad rural, Pune rural and western Maharashtra.
Social media posts will also be monitored by the police during the bandh. Internet services in particular areas may be suspended, depending upon the situation.
Marathas constitute nearly 30 per cent of the state’s population and have been demanding 16 per cent reservation in government jobs and education.
Marathwada, western Maharashtra, Thane and Navi Mumbai had witnessed maximum violence during a bandh called by Maratha organisations last month, to press the community’s demand for reservation.
A strict vigil in various areas will be maintained and the police will keep an eye on the protests through CCTV areas.
Police personnel in plainclothes will also be deployed among the protesters.