Maratha outfits have called for a bandh in Maharashtra on Tuesday, a day after a man demanding reservation for the community jumped to his death in a river in Aurangabad district.
A pro-reservation Maratha leader further threatened to continue their agitation until Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis apologises to the community. Some Maratha groups have also planned to protest in Mumbai in the near future.
Earlier, 27-year-old protester, Kakasaheb Shinde, jumped off a bridge over Godavari River while staging the ‘jal samadhi’ protest in Aurangabad. He was rushed to a hospital where he was declared dead. The agitation is being led over demand of reservation for the community in government jobs and education.
Shinde’s death had triggered a fresh set of protests in several parts of Maharashtra, with opposition leaders seeking to put the onus on the BJP-led government in the state.
Apart from that, the demands of the Maratha Kranti Morcha also include an apology from Fadnavis, who alleged that some members from the community were planning violence at Pandharpur town in Solapur district, where the chief minister was earlier scheduled to perform puja at a temple on ‘Ashadhi Ekadashi’. Fadnavis, however, had cancelld his visit following the protest.
In the last few days, protests have taken place in Buldhana, Akola, Parali, Washim and even in Mumbai.
Highlights of Maratha Kranti Morcha protest:
# 02:52 pm: I appeal to the people, please maintain peace we can solve it by a peaceful dialogue, 15 lakh pilgrims are in Pandharpur for Wari, they should not face problems in going back to their homes: Deepak Kesarkar, MoS Maharastra.
# 01:25 pm: Maharashtra: Maratha Kranti Morcha workers tonsured their heads in Aurangabad's Gangapur during their protest demanding reservation for Maratha community in govt jobs and education.
# 01:22 pm: Maratha Kranti Morcha workers set ablaze a truck in Aurangabad's Gangapur as a mark of their protest demanding reservation for Maratha community in government jobs and education.
#WATCH: Maratha Kranti Morcha workers set ablaze a truck in Aurangabad's Gangapur as a mark of their protest demanding reservation for Maratha community in government jobs & education. #Maharashtra pic.twitter.com/OIdBJlSLpo— ANI (@ANI) July 24, 2018
# 01:10 pm: 3 people attempted suicide in Maharashtra on Tuesday. A Jayant Sonavne and Guddu Sonavane attempted suicide by jumping into river and a Jagannath Sonavne consumed poison in Deogaon Rangari in Aurangabad. All 3 admitted to hospital.
# 12:18 pm: Aurangabad: Locals attacked the vehicle of Shiv Sena MP Chandrakant Khaire when he went to attend funeral of the youth who drowned in Godavari river in the district on Monday during 'jal samadhi agitation held' for reservation for Maratha community in govt jobs and education.
Quotas for Marathas, a politically influential community that constitutes around 30 per cent of the state’s population, has been a hugely contentious issue. In 2017, a huge rally was organised by the Maratha Kranti Morcha in connection to the matter in Mumbai.
Despite assurances from Fadnavis to fulfil the demands, nothing concrete has been done till now, community leaders have claimed.