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Maratha quota stir: Protester commits suicide, 40 vehicles torched in Pune

Stone-pelting incidents reported; Shiv Sena to back BJP on the issue 

Pune: The protests for reservation in education and jobs for Marathas has once again turned violent, this time in Pune, as agitators torched at least 40 buses and damaged another 50 on Monday afternoon. The protesters behind vandalism are suspected to be from the Maratha Kranti Morcha, the same group that led the multi-day Maharashtra-wide agitation over reservation for Marathas last week.

The buses were set on fire at the Chakan industrial area on the Pune-Nashik highway on the city’s outskirts. Police had to lob teargas shells and fire in the air to control the mob. The violence has affected traffic movement in the area and hundreds of commuters have been left stranded.

Section 144 imposed

To control the situation, authorities have imposed Section 144 of the IPC in the area that prohibits assembly of more than four people. The violence comes after a man committed suicide over the demand for reservation for Marathas. In Aurangabad, Pramod Hore Patil committed suicide by jumping in front of a running train. He ended his life sometime on Sunday, but his body was recovered on Monday near Mukundwadi railway station.

Meanwhile, ruling ally Shiv Sena is likely to back the BJP on this specific issue. The violence in Pune come just days after a state-wide agitation was held over the demand for 16 per cent reservation in education institutes and jobs for Maratha community.

4 HAVE COMMITTED SUICIDE TILL NOW

  • The protesters behind vandalism are suspected to be from the Maratha Kranti Morcha, the same group that led the multi-day Maharashtra-wide agitation over reservation for Marathas last week.
  • In Aurangabad, Pramod Hore Patil committed suicide by jumping in front of a train.
  • Hore became the fourth person to lose a life during the agitation over the last one week. Prior to this, two men had committed suicide last week while another died during violence by the agitationists.

Jail bharo andolan from August 1

  • The Maratha community is all set to protest and go on a ‘jail bharo andolan’ from August 1, 2018. The protest will be done at the Azad Maidan in Mumbai. Maratha Kranti Morcha released a press statement on Monday in which the details of the protest were revealed.
  • The Marathas have decided to protest against Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis for not withdrawing cases against Maratha protesters.

Others also line up with demands

  • Meanwhile, other communities across the state are ramping up their quota demands.
  • Dhanghars: The Dhanghar community has warned of a street agitation to press for inclusion in the ST category. In Vidarbha, there is a growing unrest among the Halba-Kosti community, as their ST status has been challenged in court.
  • OBCs: The OBCs are consolidating, demanding higher quota to accommodate all their sub-castes.
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