Maharashtra Bandh: Maratha Community Members to Hold Strong ProtestsAugust 08, 2018 15:06
(Image source from: Times Now)
The Maratha community members will be holding strong protests across Maharashtra on August 9, demanding aarakshan (quota or reservation) in government jobs and education.
Leaders leading the Maratha quota agitation announced on Tuesday that as part of the Maharashtra bandh, they would debar all communications, while Maharashtra Police, in the wake of bandh are gearing up to prevent violence.
The protest will occur despite Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis made an announcement on July 31 that the state government was committed to giving reservation to the agitating Maratha community.
Maratha Kranti Morcha leader Vinod Pokharkar said that the Maharashtra government has not only "failed to implement its promises made to the Maratha community before the 2014 Assembly Elections and in the last four years, but also delayed the procedure of withdrawing police complaints filed against the Maratha youth across the state."
He further accused Fadnavis of not keeping his word on the quota. The Maratha Kranti Morcha leader alleged that the Maharashtra Police had arrested at least 2,000 youths from the community under serious charges after the agitations took place last month.
"With the August 9 protest imminent, the state government ensured that hearing on the cases against the Maratha youth would take place after August 9. This means that these youths will remain behind bars till Thursday," said Pokharkar.
He further claimed that any police station in the districts has not received the letter from the state government to call off non-serious charges against the arrested Maratha youths. Another leader Bhaiyya Patil said meetings will take place on Wednesday in some districts to finalize the strategy for 9 August protests. "We will finalize the agitation plan in these meetings. We want to show the strength of the community to the government," said Patil.
The politically-influential Maratha community constitutes nearly 30 percent of Maharashtra's population. The Bombay High Court had on Tuesday urged the Maratha community members not to resort to violence or take the extreme step of committing suicide over their demand for reservation.
By Sowmya Sangam