31 Oct 2023

Maharashtra: Maratha quota protests escalate into violence and arson, homes and offices of MLAs vandalized, curfew in Beed

Mumbai: Maratha quota protests in Maharashtra escalated into violence and arson. Protesters advocating for quota rights resorted to destructive acts, including torching and vandalizing homes and offices of three MLAs, as well as targeting a municipal council building and disrupting road traffic, according to the police.

Curfew in Beed

The majority of these violent incidents occurred in the Beed district, where local authorities imposed a curfew in certain areas until further notice. In one locality, the police had to use tear gas to disperse a crowd of Maratha agitators who had gathered outside the home of a Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader. Additionally, the local NCP office in Beed was set on fire.

Homes of two NCP MLAs set ablaze

Homes of two Nationalist Congress Party MLAs were set ablaze, while the office of another legislator from the ruling BJP was vandalized by protesters. Fortunately, there were no reported casualties.

These incidents of violence and arson were mainly reported from Beed and Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar districts in central Maharashtra. 

Quota activist Manoj Jarange's condition deteriorated 

Meanwhile, Maratha quota activist Manoj Jarange continued his indefinite fast in support of the reservation demand at a village in Jalna district. On the 6th day of his fast, Jarange's condition deteriorated, leading to his collapse on the stage, prompting immediate assistance from those present at the site.

NCP MLA Solanke's residence set on fire

In Beed district, the residence of NCP MLA Solanke in Majalgaon town was set on fire, and stones were thrown at it by a group of quota agitators. This incident occurred after an audio clip of the MLA, in which he appeared to downplay the Maratha quota agitation and indirectly commented on the fasting quota activist Jarange, went viral.

Municipal Council building set ablaze

The mob then moved to the Majalgaon Municipal Council building, where they set ablaze the first floor and vandalized the property. Fortunately, fire brigade personnel arrived promptly and extinguished the flames without any reported casualties.

To maintain law and order, a company of the State Reserve Police Force was deployed in Beed district. Pro-quota protests continued at multiple locations in Beed district.

In Beed city, a group of Maratha quota activists set fire to the residential premises and office of NCP MLA Sandeep Kshirsagar. Police intervened and dispersed the crowd, using tear gas to disperse a group of Maratha agitators gathered outside the residence of NCP leader Amarsingh Pandit.

Offices of political leaders damaged

Throughout the day, the mob engaged in various acts of arson and vandalism, including setting fire to the Rashtrawadi Bhavan (NCP office), targeting a jewelry shop, and damaging the offices of political leaders from various parties.

Beed collector Deepa Mudhol Munde imposed a curfew in parts of the district until further notice, and internet services were temporarily shut down in Beed. Additional security measures were put in place for the residences and offices of public representatives and ministers in the affected areas.

Protesters also disrupted traffic on the Samruddhi Expressway and the Solapur-Akkalkot Highway and vandalized the office of Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Prashant Bamb in Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar district. Maratha quota activist Manoj Jarange, who was on his 6th day of fasting, appealed to protesters to avoid engaging in violence and arson.

Members of the Maratha community have been staging protests in different parts of the state, demanding reservations in government jobs and education under the OBC category.

No comments:

Post a Comment