Fresh violence over Maratha quota cripples transport

ST Correspondent
Monday, 30 July 2018

Fresh violence with arson, roadblocks, attacks on police and shutdowns rocked several parts of Maharashtra over the demands for Maratha reservations while one person committed suicide by jumping under a running train in Aurangabad on Monday.

Pune/ Mumbai: Fresh violence with arson, roadblocks, attacks on police and shutdowns rocked several parts of Maharashtra over the demands for Maratha reservations while one person committed suicide by jumping under a running train in Aurangabad on Monday.

Large areas of Chakan in Pune and surroundings, Osmanabad, Solapur, Kolhapur, Nandurbar and Aurangabad witnessed sporadic incidents of arson, violence, road blocks and noisy processions on foot and on motorcyles, with prohibitory orders clamped in many police station areas.

In Aurangabad, Pramod Hore Patil committed suicide by jumping in front of a running train after making a post on Facebook. He ended his life sometime on Sunday, but his body was recovered on Monday near Mukundwadi railway station, resulting in a shutdown in parts of the district.

Over two dozen vehicles, including five state transport buses were torched or damaged as the Maratha agiation took a violent turn in Pune district's Chakan, Hinjewadi, Khed and the Pune-Nashik Highway today.  Angry protestors targeted the Chakan Police Station and in the resultant violence at least five policemen were injured, elsewhere in the town, three persons were hurt in stone-pelting incidents.

Police retaliated by firing teargas shells to quell the protestors and clamped prohibitory orders, while a total shutdown was observed in Chakan and other towns as all political parties appealed to the Maratha leaders for peace and restraint.

ST buses were also targeted in Solapur's Pandharpur pilgrim centre and adjourning Kolhapur since midnight on Sunday-Monday, forcing a precautionary suspension of all ST services for the day as roads were blocked by squatting activists and burning tyres.

Activists attempted to set afire some vehicles and ST buses in Nandurbar but were thwarted by police though some parts observed a shutdown.

Meanwhile, ruling ally Shiv Sena, and the Opposition Congress and Nationalist Congress Party held independent meetings with their legislators amidst at least eight MLAs quitting their seats to press for Maratha quotas.

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