Mumbai, July 25: Maratha stir entered Day 2 on Wednesday with Maratha Kranti Morcha, which spearheads the agitation, calling for a Mumbai bandh. Sakal Maratha Samaj has called for a bandh in Navi Mumbai and Panvel as well. On Tuesday, one constable died and nine other policemen were injured in stone pelting when the agitators clashed with the police and torched vehicles amid suicide attempt by two protesters. The impact of Maharashtra bandh was more visible in Aurangabad and adjoining districts, a day after the death of a protester during a protest march in favour of reservations.
NCP president Sharad Pawar has asked Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to hold talks with representatives of the Maratha outfits to end the ongoing stand-off. In Sangli, Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil of BJP said the state government had done whatever was within its ambit and now it was up to the courts to take a call on this contentious issue. Some “paid” people have infiltrated in the Maratha stir, the minister said. Internet services were suspended in rural areas of Aurangabad district to prevent any untoward incident.
Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil blamed Fadnavis for the stir taking a violent turn and demanded his resignation. Fadnavis had cancelled his visit to a temple in Pandharpur after protesting Maratha outfits threatened to disrupt the event. Despite assurances from Fadnavis to fulfil the demands, nothing concrete has been done till now, community leaders have claimed. “We will continue our agitation until Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis apologises to the Maratha community,” Morcha coordinator Ravindra Patil said.
(With input from Agencies)