Mumbai: A day after violent protests brought Maharashtra to a standstill, members of the Maratha community once again took to the streets on Friday demanding - among others - reservation in government jobs and in the education field.
Women protestors took to the streets armed with lathis in Parli town in Beed district, demanding that detained protestors from the community be released and all cases registered against the Maratha Kranti Morcha workers should be withdrawn.
In another incident, a youth consumed poison in his house in Parbhani to demand reservation for the Maratha community. Rameshwar Murlidhar Gaekwad decided to take the extreme step to show his support for the cause. He was immediately rushed to a local hospital by his family and is receiving care in the intensive care unit.
Protests were reported in Marathwada region too with Hingoli witnessing massive demonstrations. The protesters even stopped an ambulance carrying a patient in Parbhani district's Jintur while in Dhule the Marathas took out a march.
There were also reports of stone pelting from Amdura and Punegaon villages in Nanded where protestors clashed with security personnel. It has been learnt that five police cars were also destroyed in the ensuing violence, forcing security personnel to lathi-charge the demonstrators. More than 20 protestors have been injured while there are also reports of injuries among police and administrative ranks.
In Shirpur, two state transport buses and a truck was vandalised and additional police force has been deployed to prevent any untoward incident.
Maratha Kranti Morcha, which is spearheading the agitation, previously denied reports that any of its members had indulged in violence, arson and/or acts of vandalism.
But on Friday, it stopped vehicular traffic in parts of Jalna district in Aurangabad division and the road traffic was disrupted in Ambad town of Jalna too. Several pro-reservation protesters shaved their head in Jafrabad and Shahapur.
The week has seen several incidents of similar violence with mobs clashing with police forces and destroying public property.
PTI adds: A protester, who was injured in the violence during the Maratha quota stir in Navi Mumbai, has succumbed to his injuries at the government-run JJ Hospital. Navi Mumbai has seen rampant violence with reports of 150 vehicles being torched here since protests on Wednesday.
Marathas, a politically influential community that constitutes around 30 per cent of the state's population, have been demanding a 16 percent reservation. The community had earlier taken out silent marches across the state to highlight their demands, prominent among them being that of reservation.