Protestors storm district collectorate 

Prateek Goyal
Friday, 10 August 2018

With saffron flags imprinted with the image of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in their hands and riding Royal Enfield Bullet Motorcycles with gunshot silencers, a strong crowd of around 7,000 protesters demanding reservation for Maratha community stormed the district collectorate on Thursday.

Pune: With saffron flags imprinted with the image of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in their hands and riding Royal Enfield Bullet Motorcycles with gunshot silencers, a strong crowd of around 7,000 protesters demanding reservation for Maratha community stormed the district collectorate on Thursday.

 The headless crowd, which was the amalgamation of various groups under the banner of Maratha Kranti Morcha and others, mostly consisted of youngsters, who lingered at the office till late in the evening. However, at around 8 pm, the police detained 50 of the protestors who didn’t call off the protest despite repeated request by the authorities.  

The pool of protestors demanding reservation for Maratha community stretched to more than a kilometre from Ambedkar Chowk to Mahesh Lunch Home. The stretch echoed with the slogans demanding reservations. Many were spotted taking selfies with the waving flag in their hands.

The protestors hurled abuses at Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis as well as Prime Minister Modi. A protestor also climbed up a mobile tower inside the campus of collector’s office and planted a flag at the top of the tower. 

The protest which started at 11 am on Thursday ended in evening with various shades of sloganeering, assault and sporadic vandalism by protestors.

Around 2 pm, the protest was called off by some senior coordinators of the protest after a memorandum was submitted to District Collector Naval Kishore Ram. A majority of the crowd called of the protest after singing the national anthem. However, a group of 200-400 protestors (largely youngsters) continued with the protest and engaged in minor incidences of vandalism and violence at the gate of collector’s office.

A few journalists were also heckled by the protestors for filming their acts of vandalism for damaging gate lamps and glasses of security cabins at the entrance of the collector’s office.

The remainder of the mob entered the locked gate of the collector’s office by climbing on the top of security cabins. Gradually, the terrace of security cabins on either side of the main gate was occupied by protestors who also vandalised the gate lamp and glasses of the security cabins.

At around 4 pm, the angry protestors were allowed inside the gates by the police and did a sit up protest inside the campus of the collector’s office. The protestors sitting inside the campus were seen engaging in heated arguments among themselves as well the police and collectorate authorities. Despite repeated assurances by the authorities, the group of protestors denied calling off the protest till 8 pm which finally forced the police to resort to lathicharge and arrest them. 

Pramod Adsul, a member of the Maratha Kranti Morcha organising committee, said, “We called off the protest after submitting a memorandum to the collector. However some groups of boys gathered at the spot demanded that the collector should have accepted the memorandum. Later, the collector also came down but a report in a private news channel mentioning that protesters are indulging in violence at collector’s office irked the youngsters, who became aggressive.”

District Collector Naval Kishore Ram said, “A group of around 30-40 students were deatained by the police in the night. We have asked them to call off the protest by 9 pm but they were not considering our request which finally led to their detention by police.” tained 50 of the protestors who didn't call off the protest despite repeated request by the authorities. 

The pool of protestors demanding reservation for Maratha community stretched to more than a kilometre from Ambedkar Chowk to Mahesh Lunch Home. The stretch echoed with the slogans demanding reservations. Many were spotted taking selfies with the waving flag in their hands.

The protestors hurled abuses at Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis as well as Prime Minister Modi. A protestor also climbed up a mobile tower inside the campus of collector’s office and planted a flag at the top of the tower. 
The protest which started at 11 am on Thursday ended in evening with various shades of sloganeering, assault and sporadic vandalism by protestors.

Around 2 pm, the protest was called off by some senior coordinators of the protest after a memorandum was submitted to District Collector Naval Kishore Ram. A majority of the crowd called of the protest after singing the national anthem. However, a group of 200-400 protestors (largely youngsters) continued with the protest and engaged in minor incidences of vandalism and violence at the gate of collector’s office.

A few journalists were also heckled by the protestors for filming their acts of vandalism for damaging gate lamps and glasses of security cabins at the entrance of the collector’s office.

The remainder of the mob entered the locked gate of the collector’s office by climbing on the top of security cabins. Gradually, the terrace of security cabins on either side of the main gate was occupied by protestors who also vandalised the gate lamp and glasses of the security cabins.

At around 4 pm, the angry protestors were allowed inside the gates by the police and did a sit up protest inside the campus of the collector’s office. The protestors sitting inside the campus were seen engaging in heated arguments among themselves as well the police and collectorate authorities. Despite repeated assurances by the authorities, the group of protestors denied calling off the protest till 8 pm which finally forced the police to resort to lathicharge and arrest them. 

Pramod Adsul, a member of the Maratha Kranti Morcha organising committee, said, “We called off the protest after submitting a memorandum to the collector. However some groups of boys gathered at the spot demanded that the collector should have accepted the memorandum. Later, the collector also came down but a report in a private news channel mentioning that protesters are indulging in violence at collector’s office irked the youngsters, who became aggressive.”

District Collector Naval Kishore Ram said, “A group of around 30-40 students were deatained by the police in the night. We have asked them to call off the protest by 9 pm but they were not considering our request which finally led to their detention by police.” tained 50 of the protestors who didn't call off the protest despite repeated request by the authorities. 

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