Maratha Quota Stir: Protestors block Pune-Solapur highway; announce ‘jail bharo andolan in Mumbai’

The Maratha reservation stir continues on August 1 as protestors blocked the Pune-Solapur highway and the Maratha Kranti Morcha announced a ‘jail bharo andolan’ in Mumbai

PTI Photo
PTI Photo

NH Web Desk

The Marathi community agitation over its demand for reservation in government jobs and education continues, with protestors blocking the Pune-Solapur highway today.

Pro-quota groups led by the Maratha Kranti Morcha organised a 'jail bharo' agitation at Azad Maidan in south Mumbai on Wednesday while local groups in some parts of the state also held similar protests. Rail and road traffic in the city wasn't affected by the Maratha community protest today, an official said here.

Adequate security arrangements have been made in the state in view of the ongoing protests, police said.

"We have lost confidence in Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and his hollow assurances of offering reservation to Maratha community," said Kedar Shinde, a protester at Azad Maidan.

A group of Maratha community members also staged an agitation outside the residence of state Labour Minister Sambhaji Patil-Nilangekar in Latur district.

Protesters blocked a portion of the Pune-Solapur National Highway in north Solapur, police said. Protests were also held at Junnar in Pune district. Rallies were held in Shirur and Khed tehsils in Pune district.

Farmers from Hingoli district in Marathwada region, the hub of most of the aggressive protests, organised a bullock-cart march to demand quota for the community.

So far six people have committed suicide in the state due to the ongoing agitation.

The Times of India reported that yesterday, July 31, 35-year-old man ended his life, while eight protesters attempted suicide. “Abhijeet Deshmukh, a resident of Veeda village in Beed district in Marathwada region hanged himself from a tree near his house”, said the article, quoting police.

State Government scurries to find sops for Marathas

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had said last week that a special session of the Maharashtra legislature would be convened to pass "a law or a resolution" for reservation to the Marathas, a politically influential community in Maharashtra. He had appealed for peace in the state, rocked by violent protests over the quota issue, and announced withdrawal of certain cases against members of the community.

Meanwhile the state government announced a decision to stand guarantor for loans to be disbursed to youth from the Maratha community under a scheme to extend financial assistance to backward communities.

The decision was taken on July 31 at the cabinet sub-committee, set up to take steps for the welfare of the Maratha community, chaired by Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil.

The panel had received complaints that banks were not approving loans of people from the community and were asking for counter-guarantee. Over 10,000 applications are pending for approval, and Fadnavis had earlier given an assurance that he will take up the issue with the State Level Bankers' Committee.

With PTI inputs

This article was updated at 1.38 pm on August 1, 2018 to add details of developments in Mumbai, Latur and Hingoli, Maharashtra

Follow us on: Facebook, Twitter, Google News, Instagram 

Join our official telegram channel (@nationalherald) and stay updated with the latest headlines

Published: 01 Aug 2018, 1:32 PM