Maratha Groups Call For 'Peaceful' Bandh Across Maharashtra Today, Demanding Reservations

| August 9 , 2018 , 09:28 IST

The Sakal Maratha Samaj, an umbrella body of various Maratha groups has called for a state-wide 'peaceful' bandh across Maharashtra on Thursday, demanding reservations in education and jobs for the Maratha community.

"It will be a state-wide bandh, excluding Navi Mumbai. All the essential services, schools and colleges have been excluded from the bandh," Amol Jadhavrao, a leader of Sakal Maratha Samaj said to media.

"Due to some sensitive issues, we have decided not to observe bandh in Navi Mumbai," he said.

"It will be a peaceful protest from 8 am to 6 pm. I appeal to my fellow Maratha youth to desist from committing suicides. It is not going to help the community and its cause," Jadhavrao added.

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"We are also making an appeal to Maratha youths to stay away from violence. We will not indulge in any aggressive protest and there will be no damage to public properties," he said.

Despite the assurance that schools and colleges would be excluded, schools in Pune have declared a holiday for the day and colleges in Marathwada's Latur, Hingoli, Parbhani and Nanded have also declared a holiday.

The Sakal Maratha Samaj leader also alleged that Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis was talking to only a few Marathas and was trying to create confusion within the community.

"Fadnavis should give a time-bound programme for giving quota to the community on his letterhead and we will withdraw our agitation," Jadhavrao said.

Protests by the Maratha community turned violent last month, resulting in the injury of 20 policemen in stone-pelting by protesters at Kopar Khairane and Kalamboli while a protester died from injuries in Navi Mumbai. 

According to police, between July 18 and 27, a total of 276 cases of violence were registered across the state due to the quota agitation, with incidents of stone pelting being recorded at over 250 places and 198 incidents of arson. More than Rs 4.5 crore worth of public and private property was damaged in the 10 day period.

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