Protesters blocked trains in parts of Mumbai amid a bandh called by Maratha groups
Mumbai: Clash between the police and Maratha protesters continued late into the evening in pockets of Maharashtra, even though the bandh in Mumbai was called off early in the afternoon. While the blockade of the Mumbai-Pune highway was cleared, protesters threw stones at the police in Thane. The Marathas are demanding reservation in jobs and education. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said the government is ready for talks. Through the day, protesters blocked arterial roads, including the Mumbai-Pune highway and the Eastern Expressway, and forced shops to shut. Local train routes were blocked in Jogeshwari and near Thane.
Here are the top 10 updates on the Maratha protests:
The Maratha Kranti Morcha, which is spearheading the agitation, had called for the shutdown in Mumbai, the financial heart of the country. Another group, the Sakal Maratha Samaj, had called for a bandh today in Navi Mumbai and Panvel.
"The government has taken cognisance of the protest by Maratha community and has taken several decisions. The government is ready to talk to them. A law was made for reservation to the community, but that was stayed by Bombay High Court," Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said.
The protests in Navi Mumbai, roughly 20km off Mumbai, are on. In Kalamboli, one of the key areas of Navi Mumbai, the police had to use batons and teargas to control protesters, who were squatting on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway.
Stones were thrown at two buses in Navi Mumbai. The protesters also forced shops to close in many areas. In Raigadh district's Kamothe, protesters took to the streets, shutting down shops and holding a bike rally.
Jagannath Sonavne, a third protester who attempted suicide by consuming poison yesterday in Aurangabad's Deogaon Rangari, died in a hospital today.
Posters of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis were torn in parts of Thane, near Mumbai. Besides the reservation issue, the Maratha Kranti Morcha is upset with the Chief Minister over his allegation that some members of the community were planning violence during his visit to a temple at Pandharpur town in Solapur district.
The peaceful protests by the Marathas suddenly turned violent on Tuesday after the death of a 28-year-old man, Kakasaheb Dattatreya Shinde, who committed suicide by jumping into the Godavari River on Monday. A second protester made a suicide attempt by jumping off a bridge in Aurangabad and was seriously injured.
One constable died and nine other policemen were injured in stone-throwing as protesters clashed with the police and torched vehicles on Tuesday.
Quotas for Marathas, a politically influential community that constitutes around 30 per cent of the state's population, has been a hugely contentious issue.