Maratha group calls of quota protest in Mumbai, bandh ends

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Mumbai: Maratha Kranti Morcha which spearheaded the protests for reservation in government jobs and educational institutions for the community today called off their bandh in Mumbai.

Normal life was severely affected in Mumbai and adjoining areas after Maratha outfits called for Mumbai shutdown on Wednesday.

Though the outfit said that they would hold peaceful protest, the agitations soon turned violent. The protesters set ablaze buses and vehicles at several places and blocked Pune-Mumbai highway.

Police resorted to tear gas to disperse the agitators.

Local train services were also disrupted at Jogeshwari and near Thane.

Fearing untoward incidents, most shops remained closed in and around Mumbai.

Elaborate security arrangements were put in place in the city ahead of the bandh.

Large-scale violence marred the protests by Maratha outfits demanding a quota for the community in Maharashtra on Tuesday, a day after the death of a protester.

Protester Kakasaheb Shinde (27) had jumped to death from a bridge over the Godavari in Aurangabad on Monday.

Stone-pelting and arson were reported from several parts of the state, which remained on edge on Tuesday.

Agitators clashed with the police and torched vehicles at several places, while Internet services were suspended in rural areas of Aurangabad district.

One constable died and nine other policemen were injured in stone-throwing on Tuesday when protesters clashed with the police and torching vehicles.

As the stir for reservation in jobs and education intensified, the Maratha Kranti Morcha, which is spearheading the agitation, has taken its battle to Mumbai where it has called for the shutdown.

Another outfit, the Sakal Maratha Samaj, called for a bandh today in Navi Mumbai and Panvel as well.

Quota for Marathas, a politically influential community that constitutes around 30 per cent of the state’s population, has been a hugely contentious issue.