Maratha flare-up continues for 3rd day; protesters demand Fadnavis's resignation
Maratha groups have called for shutdowns in different parts of the state from Monday including Jalna, Hingoli, Aurangabad, and continuing other modes of action over the next few days
Protests by various Maratha groups continued for the third day on Sunday with demonstrations held in Mumbai, Thane, Buldhana and Solapur against the police action on the community agitation in Jalna.
The Maratha Kranti Morcha (MKM) and other groups have vowed to carry on the agitation ahead and demanded the resignation of BJP leader and deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis for the police lathicharge on Friday evening in Jalna, where it all started.
Speaking at an official function in Buldhana on Sunday, chief minister Shinde reiterated his plea for peace and assured that the "state government is committed to extending education and job quotas to the Maratha community".
Shinde also showed his unease at opposition leaders Sharad Pawar (NCP), Uddhav Thackeray (Shiv Sena-UBT) and Ashok Chavan (Congress) visiting Jalna.
Sena (UBT) leader Aaditya Thackeray, NCP national general secretary Jitendra Awhad and others demanded the resignation of Shinde and Fadnavis for their failures in handling the Maratha issue.
On Sunday, some persons set afire two tyres on a Thane road, a government warehouse and a vehicle was set ablaze late night in Hingoli, while demonstrations and protests in different forms continued in several other districts.
Maratha groups have called for shutdowns in different parts of the state from Monday including Jalna, Hingoli, Aurangabad, and continuing other modes of action over the next few days.
It may be recalled that the Marathas went on a warpath after an agitation turned violent in Antarvali-Sarathi village in Jalna when police attempted to shift their leader Manoj Jarange who was on a hunger strike along with others since August 29, to a hospital after his health deteriorated.
The crowd there allegedly started pelting stones at the police and it turned into a full-fledged melee with the police resorting to aerial firing, baton-charge, bursting teargas and chasing the protesters.
In the process at least five dozen people, comprising around 40 police personnel were injured, and the protests spread to almost the entire Maharashtra over the next two days.
So far, the Jalna Police have lodged more than six FIRs in connection with the violence, naming over 350 people under various Sections of the IPC.
Meanwhile, the government has sent the Jalna Superintendent of Police on compulsory leave, and shunted Additional SP and Deputy SP out of the district pending an enquiry against them and subsequent disciplinary action.
(With IANS inputs)