Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Unrest in Chakan day after Maratha protest


PUNE: Today, a day after Maratha protesters seeking reservation in government jobs and education blocked a highway and damaged vehicles in the industrial town and nearby areas.

Police said they have booked 4,000 people for Monday’s violence. Officials also hinted that the violence appeared pre-planned as protestors, some of whom they said were outsiders, came with swords petrol cans. “Some troublemakers had come with all preparation to create a disturbance,” Pune’s superintendent of police Sandip Patil said.

Maratha protesters also attacked policemen, damaged least 100 vehicles in Chakan and Khed, and blocked the Pune-Nashik highway for at least four hours on Monday. Four policemen and three civilians were injured in the violence as the police fired tear gas shells in the air to control the protesters. Police said constable Ajay Bhapkar, who was beaten up with rods during Monday’s violence, has slipped into a coma.

Those held up in Chakan, a town about 40 kilometres from Pune and known as an automobile hub, due to the violence returned to their homes late in the evening. “I came home at around 11:30 pm as the roads were blocked during the day,” Vinit Sahu, who works in manufacturing unit at Chakan, said on Tuesday. While roads were cleared by police, Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation decided not to ply buses to Chakan, Nashik and Rajgurunagar from Swargate and Shivajinagar.

Monday’s protests came a day after chief minister Devendra Fadnavis reiterated his government’s commitment to reservations for Marathas and also assured a delegation headed by former chief minister Narayan Rane of withdrawing cases against agitators.


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