Maratha agitators are still not ready to back down and have said that they will continue with their scheduled protest of a ‘Maharashtra bandh‘ on August 9; a day after Chief Minister of state Devendra Fadnavis made the announcement that the state government will meet the demand for a quota by the Marathas by November, this year.
Marathas, one of the most politically active communities in the state of Maharashtra, accounts for over 30% of the state’s total population. They have been demanding the reservation in education and jobs within the state.
The Maratha quota agitation is snowballing out of control. With the August 9 sit-in protests and the ‘Maharashtra bandh’ of August 16, looming on the horizon; the Maharashtra Home Department has written to the Union government seeking 15 companies of the Central Armed Police Forces.
Fadnavis announced, via television broadcast, that the state will complete the entire process of reservations for Marathas by November this year. He also agreed to another demand of the community which asked for the ‘mega recruitment’ of 72000 people, to be done for the people of the state. The second demand, however, will be deferred till the Maratha community does not get a reservation.
In spite of these announcements, the Maratha community has refused to call off the ‘Maharashtra bandh’. The community is demanding a written undertaking from the Chief Minister and the Chief Secretary that the quota be implemented by the end of November, as stated by Raghunath Chitre Patil, a convenor of the Maratha Kranti Morcha.
The latest developments show that the government is working in order to ensure that the protestors call off their protest. A faction of the Maratha protestors have also agreed to the demand and have decided to give time till the end of November. A faction of protestors in Parli and Navi Mumbai have agreed to the assurance given by the government. However, Maratha Kranti Morcha has maintained its stance of going ahead with the bandh as announced earlier.
“The entire Maratha community would be on the roads blocking thoroughfares, from village pathways to national highways,” said Uday Gavare, MKM’s Latur coordinator. About the Parli agitators’ withdrawal, Gavare said, “They hadn’t asked us before staging a sit-in at Parli. They are free to withdraw, but we don’t agree with them.”
The Maharashtra high court has appealed the protestors to not indulge in any kind of violence as well not to commit suicides to strengthen their demands.
In a similar news, 3 Day Strike has been called by the workers in the state over 7th Pay commission.
Update: 8th August 2018 17:00HRS
Despite government’s appeal to the protestors for withdrawing the bandh announcement, the protestors have decided to hold the bands in the entire state tomorrow. The government has deployed heavy security forces across the state and especially in the capital city in order to ensure safety or the protestors and security of the state.
Update: 8th August 2018 18:45HRS
The leaders of MKM (Maratha Kranti Morcha) have maintained their stance of a peaceful protest across the capital city of Mumbai. According to the MKM representatives, they will hold a silent protest at the Mumbai Sub-urban Collector office in Bandra(East). Educational institutions will remain open, however, there are chances that traffic might affect at some places in the city. Devendra Fadnavis has strictly warned the protestors against any kind of violence.
Update: 8th August 2018 19:45HRS
There are media reports suggesting that the educational institutions in Mumbai and some other parts of the state might remain closed. There has not been an announcement on this from the state administration. There are speculations that the school and colleges head might take a decision on this today or tomorrow early in the morning.
Update: 8th August 2018 21:30HRS
The protest will not happen in Navi Mumbai. The leaders have decided to settle in the Mumbai areas. Their stance of keeping the protest peacefull remains and there hasn’t been a decision on whether to keep the educational institutions closed or open. A decision in that regard might happen in the early hours of tomorrow.
Update: 9th August 2018, 06:00HRS
Schools and commercial establishments in Pune and Mumbai will remain closed today. As earlier speculated, the bandh will not have any impact on Navi Mumbai. The essential services will not be impacted. Pune district collector Naval Kishore Ram stated that the protestors might try to block the roads and in the wake of that, the district administration has decided to keep the schools, colleges shut.
Sandip Patil, Superintendent of Police for Pune Rural mentioned that the security around Pune has been shot up. There are over 2200 police personnel, 900 home guards, 3 companies of SRPF (State Reserved Police Force), 1 company of RAF and 20 striking platoons have been deployed in and around Pune to ensure that there are no instances of violence at the protest today. On July 30th, there were a number of violence instances, which saw the protestors attacking on a school bus, in the wake of that, the district administration of Pune has decided to keep the schools closed.
Other locations in Mahrashtra, including Nagpur, Parli, Aurangabad, Solapur might also have slight disturbance because of the bandh called.
Update: 9th August 2018, 09:45HRS
In order to prevent any mishappening, the state administration has alerted police and security forces across the state. The security has been tightened. Public Transport across the state is running as usual. Essential services have also remained unaffected.
The protest has been peaceful till now. There has been no news of any violence, but the state and district administrations have been taking precautions in order to prevent any repeat of previous instances.
As speculated earlier, Mumbai and Navi Mumbai have been exempted from the bandh. The capital city will work as usual. Schools and colleges have not declared any holiday and the commercial units are working as well.
Update: 9th August 12:00HRS
The government has suspended internet services in parts of Pune district. According to the latest inputs that we have got, the internet services have been suspended in Shirur, Baramati, Khed, Maval, Junnar, Bhor and Daund. This is done in order to ensure that no wrong rumors spread in the society, which might cause the situation to slip from the hands of district and state administration. Other places have witnessed a peaceful protest till now and as evident, the protestors have gathered outside the office of collector at Bandra(East).
Stay tuned to this page as we bring you the latest information on the protests and developments around it.