Chakan/Pune: About 60 vehicles were damaged by protesters after the Maratha reservation agitation turned violent in Chakan on Monday. Eight police personnel including Additional SP (Pune division) Tejaswi Satpute were injured during the stir.
The Maratha community members had called a bandh in Chakan. A heavy police bandobast was deployed in the area.
According to the police, around 10.30 am, about 1,000 people started marching from Mahatma Phule statue in Market Yard, Chakan. They reached the Talegaon Chowk on Pune-Nashik Highway around 11 am. By this time, about 2,000 people had gathered and they began a ‘rasta roko’ thus stopping traffic on both sides of the highway. After speeches by leaders ended, the protesters began going back. However, hundreds of youths with saffron flags, sticks and petrol bottles stayed there and the first ST bus was damaged around noon. They also tried to set a PMPML bus on fire.
They damaged four ST buses and one Gujarat state bus near Kanpile petrol pump. The same group damaged four more ST buses near Kohinoor Institute. Around 1 pm, the mob damaged three police vans at Talegaon Chowk following police fired in the air and used tear gas.
The mob moved to the bus stand and set on fire a ST bus and revenue department jeep. There was heavy stone pelting on the police station and chowki in which window panes were broken.
Kolhapur range IG Vishwas Nangre Patil moved into Chakan with a heavy posse of police personnel and appealed to the leaders to stop the violence. By 5 pm, the situation was brought under control and damaged, burnt vehicles were put aside and traffic resumed on the highway. Pune District Magistrate Naval Kishor Ram said, “The law and order situation is under control. We are assessing the loss of properties and total injured persons.”
A police officer said, “Most of these people who indulged in violence were from villages outside Chakan. We are investigating who were these people and their antecedents.”
The protesters snatched several phones of people who were recording the violence in Chakan and damaged them.