Pune: Angry Maratha protesters tried to enter the residence of MLA Medha Kulkarni on Friday, after her son, Saurav, allegedly made obscene gestures and abused the protesters who had gathered outside their residence to present her with a letter of their demands. Kulkarni has however denied the allegations.
As part of the ongoing Maratha agitations, protesters had gathered outside the residence of the MLA, to present her with a letter of demands of the Maratha community, which has demands like pushing for Maratha reservations and taking back cases filed against the agitators across the State. After being criticised for the violent path taken by some of these protests, Maratha organisations had decided to peacefully protest outside the residences of local elected representatives.
Kulkarni, who had already faced a backlash from the Maratha community for making a controversial statement saying that sitting outside representatives’ houses is not going to help in getting reservations. In the context of that statement, the Maratha agitators were expecting her to have a dialogue with them on Friday, similar to the one Guardian Minister Girish Bapat on Thursday, but Kulkarni remained unavailable.
While the agitators carried out the sit-in, Kulkarni’s son, who was seen standing in the balcony of their residence, allegedly made some gestures at the protesters. The protesters say that those gestures were obscene and disrespectful to women. The women protesters took offence to that and asked the police to take action against him. Then, protesters tried to barge into the building but were detained by police.
“There was no confrontation and some protesters were trying to go inside the building, after which, some 50 protesters were detained at the Alankar police station and then immediately released once the atmosphere calmed down,” said Kalpana Jadhav, Police Inspector of the Alankar police station, adding, “There was no untoward incident and the situation was controlled immediately.”
Kulkarni, in a statement, has denied the allegations of the protesters. “I have been in politics for last 20 years and have connected with all communities and have a good relationship with them. I support the demand of the Maratha community and have never been against them. I am being targeted by some elements and after today’s (Friday’s) incident, I fear for the safety of myself and my family.”