Bandh in Maharashtra over Maratha quota demand; schools, colleges to remain open

The band has been called in areas like Palghar, Thane Raigad and Navi Mumbai. Schools, colleges, ambulances and hospitals are exempted from the bandh.

Bandh in Maharashtra over Maratha quota demand; schools, colleges to remain open
Representational image (PTI)

MUMBAI: Amid ongoing protests in Maharashtra over Maratha Reservation, a Maratha outfit Maratha Kranti Samaj has called for a 'peaceful' bandh across the state on Wednesday. The band has been called in areas like Palghar, Thane Raigad and Navi Mumbai. Schools, colleges, ambulances and hospitals are exempted from the bandh.

"We will observe a peaceful bandh on Wednesday. Thane, Navi Mumbai, Raigad to remain closed on Wednesday. Schools and colleges will not be included in this bandh as we do not intend to trouble anyone," Maratha Kranti Samaj said on Tuesday.

The ongoing protest is likely to have a major impact in Western Maharashtra and Marathwada districts such as Aurangabad, Osmanabad, Beed and Ahmadnagar.

Vinod Tawde, a minister in the Maharashtra government, said that local authorities and police will be assessing law and order situation on Wednesday. He said that after the assessment it will be decided if schools and colleges will remain operational in the above-mentioned areas on Wednesday.

Another Maharashtra Minister and Shiv Sena leader Subhash Desai said, "Maratha reservation has been delayed. How the court will react to it must be kept in mind. Shiv Sena supports Maratha reservation. People who promised reservation to solve the issue should come forward."

Maratha outfits had called for a bandh across the state after a man demanding reservation for the community jumped to his death in a river in Aurangabad district.

A pro-reservation Maratha leader said they have called the bandh across the state and that they would continue their agitation until Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis apologises to the community.

On Monday, a 27-year-old protester, Kakasaheb Shinde, jumped off a bridge over Godavari River in Aurangabad. He was rushed to a hospital where he was declared dead, police said.

The Maratha Kranti Morcha had on Monday demanded an apology from Fadnavis for alleging that some members from the community were planning violence at Pandharpur town in Solapur district, where the chief minister was earlier scheduled to perform puja at a temple on 'Ashadhi Ekadashi'.

The outfit, which led the 'jal samadhi' protest in which Shinde died, is leading the agitation seeking reservation for the community in government jobs and education.

Shinde's death had triggered a fresh set of protests in several parts of Maharashtra, with opposition leaders seeking to put the onus on the BJP-led government in the state.

(With inputs from agencies)