New Delhi, July 25: Maharashtra Bandh on Tuesday took a violent turn after a policeman and two others were injured in the Maratha stir for reservation for the community. Even though a peaceful protest was assured by the Maratha Kranti Samaj, a large number of protestors torched a fire brigade vehicle near Kaigaon in Aurangabad district where a 28-year-old man, committed suicide by jumping in the Godavari river.
The Maratha group said that they will hold a peaceful protest today on July 25 and Thane, Navi Mumbai and Raigad will stay close. School and colleges have not been included in the Maratha protest as, the group said, they don’t intend to trouble anyone through their protests across the state. The group had earlier warned that if the government fails to fulfill their promises in next two days, it (the protest) will turn violent.
Reacting to the Maratha stir, Shiv Sena leader Subhash Desai said, “Maratha reservation has been delayed. How the court will react to it must be kept mind. Shiv Sena supports Maratha reservation.” He added that the people who had promised reservation to the Maratha community should come forward to solve the issues.
On Tuesday, the state witnessed spontaneous shutdowns, road and rail blockades, processions and stray incidents of arson. A fire brigade vehicle was torched in Aurangabad and a police jeep was set ablaze in Hingoli even as the issue was raised in the Lok Sabha by Shiv Sena MP Vinayak Raut.
The political parties including Congress and Nationalist Congress Party urged the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party government to resolve the issue of Maratha reservations expeditiously. Various Maratha groups have announced a Maharashtra shutdown on August 9 – celebrated as August Kranti Day – to intensify the agitation going on since nearly two years.