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Maratha Kranti Morcha Calls Off Mumbai Bandh, Says Wanted Peaceful Protest Not Violence

DIVYIA ASTHANA | 1
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| July 25 , 2018 , 15:15 IST

The Maratha Kranti Morcha on Wednesday afternoon called off their Mumbai bandh protests that they had launched in the morning, demanding reservations for the Maratha community.

The protests were called off only after considerable violence took place in various parts of Mumbai, including the torching of buses and holding up of trains. 

Representatives of the Maratha Kranti Morcha addressing media said that they had called for a peaceful protest, but in the wake of the violence taking place, they decided to call off the Mumbai bandh. 

“We thank Mumbaikars for their support. We had called for a peaceful bandh but if any citizen was inconvenienced, we apologise. We demand that the state government take cognisance of our demands. We call off the bandh that we had declared,” a representative of the outfit said while addressing the media.

Apart from the Maratha Kranti Morcha, the Sakal Maratha Samaj had called for a bandh on Wednesday in Navi Mumbai and Panvel as well.

ALSO READ: Mumbai Bandh: Maratha Community Protests Stop Trains And Traffic [WATCH]

On Tuesday, the Maratha Kranti Morcha had led a Maharashtra bandh statewide strike, which resulted in the injury of 8 other policemen while 3 protestors attempted suicide. Stone-pelting and cases of arson were reported from various parts of the state as agitators clashed with the police and torched vehicles in several places.

The violence was more visible in Aurangabad and adjoining districts in the central region of Maharashtra where 27-year-old protester Kakasaheb Shinde had committed suicide on Monday, in demand of reservation. Internet services were suspended in rural areas of Aurangabad district to prevent any untoward incident.

Tear gas and gun shots into the air had to be used in Jalna to disperse agitators who were pelting stones at a tehsil office, Jalna SP Ramnath Pokale said.

"To disperse the violent mob, we fired in the air and lobbed tear gas shells," he said.

ALSO READ: Maratha Kranti Morcha Protests Heat Up Over Reservation Demands, Truck Set Afire In Aurangabad

Meanwhile, 8 policemen, including 2 officers were injured after protestors threw stones at the Ghansangvi police station.

At least 3 protesters attempted suicide; 31-yead-old Jagannath Sonawane, from Aurangabad, jumped into a dry river bed, 38-year-old Mangesh Suryavanshi from Thane jumped into a creek while Guddu Sonawane from Aurangabad consumed poison. All three were saved in time.

Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil claimed that the government had done whatever was possible and that it was now up to the courts to take a call on the matter. He alleged that 'paid' people have infiltrated the stir.

Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil, however, blamed Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis for the protests becoming violent and demanded his resignation.