As the Maratha quota agitation took a violent turn and spread to some parts of Maharashtra, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Tuesday met Governor Ramesh Bais to brief him about the situation and security measures being taken to curb the chaos. Internet services have been suspended in Beed, Dharashiv, and Jalna areas as a precaution after the violence.
Shinde also assured Maratha quota activist Manoj Jarange that the state government was committed to ensuring reservation for the Maratha community and asked him to appeal for peace.
#WATCH | Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde says, “…Our government is trying to maintain law & order in the state…The government is paying full attention to those who are trying to instigate and disrupt the law and order in the state. It is the government’s duty to give Maratha… pic.twitter.com/rsLifc8XZa— ANI (@ANI) October 31, 2023
A curfew has been imposed in the Dharashiv and Beed districts after the agitation turned violent and protesters indulged in arson and vandalism to target the residences of two NCP MLAs and a municipal council building.
Meanwhile, the state government has identified 50 to 55 people involved in the violent incidents in the last few days.
Services of the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) in five districts – Parbhani, Dharashiv, Latur, Jalna and Nanded districts – have been suspended completely for the next 3-4 days.
Shinde has called an all-party meeting on Wednesday morning to discuss the situation. He will apprise opposition leaders of the government’s plans to handle the situation and seek their support, said an official in the Chief Minister’s Office.
The Chief Minister also called Jarange over the phone and assured a concrete decision on reservation for the Maratha community during the state cabinet’s meeting.
Jarange, who is observing an indefinite fast for the quota demand, said on Tuesday that the Maratha community will not accept an “incomplete reservation” and the Maharashtra government should call a special session of the state legislature on the issue.
The activist also threatened to stop drinking water from Wednesday evening if the “complete” quota was not granted to the Maratha community. He added that the government should not “trouble” Maratha youths who are protesting peacefully or else a firm response will be given.
Beed and another district in the region, Dharashiv, have been under curfew since Monday.
Internet services in Jalna district were suspended by an order of the local administration as a precautionary measure to stop the spread of rumours related to violence and arson during the agitation, an official was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
The Kalyana Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (KKRTC) has suspended its bus services to Maharashtra after one of its buses was set on fire by protesters at Omerga in the state during the ongoing agitation for the Maratha reservation.
Several opposition leaders, including Shiv Sena (UBT) chief Uddhav Thackeray, have demanded the Centre to resolve the issue of Maratha reservation by calling a special session of Parliament. Addressing a press conference in Mumbai, he demanded that the Maratha and Dhangar communities should also get reservation.
With inputs from News18