Tension in Pune after Dalits, Marathas clash; calls for abrogating SC/ST Act

However, the situation was quickly brought under control by the police even as tensions prevail.

Last Updated: Oct 13, 2016, 10:33 AM IST
Tension in Pune after Dalits, Marathas clash; calls for abrogating SC/ST Act
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Pune: Days after the Marathas led a massive public rally in Pune demanding reservations in government jobs, a clash broke out between the community members and Dalits on Thursday in which several people were reportedly injured.

According to the Quint, the latest violence was triggered following a scuffle between Dalit and Maratha youths in Pune’s Lohegaon locality over the abrogation of SC/ST Act.

The Marathas reportedly marched towards Lohegaon police station, demanding that the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act be repealed.

However, the situation was quickly brought under control by the police even as tensions prevail.

The development comes even as Nashik entered 5th day of a shutdown after a protest by Marathas turned violent. Schools in Nashik were closed down and internet services blocked after the incident.

Last month, lakhs of people marched in Pune in one of the biggest rallies held by the Maratha protesters, who had been holding a series of silent protests for reservation and justice for the death of teen who had been raped allegedly by some Dalit men.

Shops were closed, major traffic diversions were made for the rallyists, who marched down a 5-kilometer stretch, bearing saffron flags with the image of Shivaji. At its end, they handed a memorandum containing their three demands to the local Collectorate.

The chief demand, the protesters say, is 16 percent quotas for Marathas in jobs and education, followed by justice for the rape and murder of a teen and amendments to the Prevention of Atrocities on Dalits Act, which Marathas claim, has been misused against them.

The brutal rape and killing of a Maratha teenager allegedly by Dalits in Kopardi has acted as a "unifying force" for the community, said Alpana Adsul, a professor at a local university.