Mumbai: Despite an assurance from Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, the Maratha groups have refused to withdraw their Statewide protest on August 9 unless they are offered a written undertaking saying that their demands will be fulfilled. But this time, Navi Mumbai, Thane and Parali have been exempted from the bandh.
Meanwhile, emergency services have also been exempted from the bandh. The services like hospitals, milk distribution and others will not be affected on Thursday.
On Sunday, Fadnavis had assured the community that the State government will implement their demand.
They are demanding for 16 per cent reservation in jobs and education and the CM has assured it by November this year. The Statewide protest by Maratha groups will increase the headache of the government as the State government employees are on strike for three days.
The Mumbai High Court also expressed concern over the agitation and suicides by Maratha youths and directed the government to expedite the ‘sensitive’ matter and file a status report on the Maratha reservation issue by September 10, when the next hearing is scheduled.
Despite these developments, the Maratha groups are firm about the Statewide bandh on August 9. The Maratha community members will hold protests across the State on Thursday, demanding reservation in government jobs and education.
Amol Jadhavrao, who is the co-ordinator, announced that there is a Statewide bandh on Thursday. “The Muslim community has also joined hands with Marathas in the agitation,” said Jadhavrao after a meeting with Maratha leaders in Mumbai.
“The bandh will be peaceful and we are trying to avoid any violence. If any untoward incident happens during the bandh, Maratha Morcha will not be responsible and it will be the State government’s responsibility,” he said.
“The bandh will be observed spontaneously in various part of the State. Henceforth, August 9 will be observed as Maratha Kranti Din,” he said.
Pravin Gaikwad from Sambhaji Brigade said that the agitators will take care that no violence takes place during the bandh. “We will not co-operate with the government during the agitations,” he said.
Bhaiya Patil, a leader from the community, said, “We want to show the strength of the community to the government.”
In wake of the bandh, the State police have geared up to prevent violence.
According to the sources, the police have arrested about 2,000 youths from the community under serious charges after the agitation last month. These agitators were allegedly involved in the violence during the last agitations. The police have ensured that they are not released till August 9 and this will prevent them from taking part in the bandh.