Mumbai, July 30: At least 40 buses were set on fire and another 50 were damaged on Pune-Nashik highway by Maratha protesters demanding reservation in education and jobs. The group behind the vandalism is suspected to be the Maratha Kranti Morcha who called for a protest a week ago. The violence has come after two men committed suicide over their demands for reservation.

While one man hung himself in Nanded, another jumped in front of a train in Aurangabad. A week ago, a 27-year-old protester jumped into Godavari river over his demand for reservations for the Maratha community and subsequently drowned. Following which, a state-wide bandh was called to protest against the government for not keeping their promises of reservation for the Maratha community.

After an agitated mob torched the vehicles at the Chakan industrial area, the police had to throw teargas shells and fire in the air to control the mob. Section 144 (prohibits assembly of more than 4 people in an area) has been imposed in Chakan following violent protests in the area over Maratha reservation issue, news agency ANI reported.

On July 27, Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis had called for an all-party meet to discuss and solve the ongoing Maratha stir. He had then said that the government will pass a resolution based on the recommendations of the Maharashtra State Backward Classes Commission (MSBCC) and that all the parties have decided to take a unanimous decision on the matter of the Maratha reservation issue.

“All parties have the same opinion on Maratha reservation issue and we have decided to take a unanimous stand on the matter,” he said, adding, “We’re ready to cooperate with colleges if they have any practical problem, but if they deliberately try to trouble Maratha students over fee concessions, the education department will cancel their registration.”