Workers of a Maratha outfit allegedly set a truck on fire in Aurangabad district on Tuesday during a statewide agitation in Maharashtra to press for reservations in government jobs and education, ANI reported. The shutdown came a day after a protestor died by jumping off a bridge into a river in the district.
Internet services have been suspended in parts of rural Aurangabad as a preventive measure.
Two more protestors attempted suicide on Tuesday. Jayant Sonavne jumped into a river and Jagannath Sonavne consumed poison, and are now in hospital. Workers of the pro-reservation Maratha Kranti Morcha tonsured their heads in Gangapur town of the district.
A head constable of Osmanabad police, SL Katgaonkar, deputed at Gangapur, died of a heart attack after a mob attacked police with stones, reported ANI.
Residents attacked the vehicle of Shiv Sena MP Chandrakant Khaire when he went to attend the funeral of Kakasaheb Shinde, who had died on Monday, reported ANI. He died during a water immersion protest.
Protestors have demanded a compensation of Rs 50 lakh for his family, and sought a criminal case against Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis for his death, India Today reported. They blocked the Ahmednagar-Aurangabad highway and damaged several vehicles in Parbhani district on Monday.
On Tuesday, state Cabinet minister Deepak Kesarkar appealed for peace and said the matter could be solved through peaceful dialogue, ANI reported. He said 15 lakh pilgrims were in Pandharpur and “they should not face problems in going back to their homes”.
The Maratha Kranti Samaj said it will observe a peaceful shutdown on Wednesday in Thane, Navi Mumbai and Raigad. “Schools and colleges will not be included in this bandh as we do not intend to trouble anyone,” the outfit said.
But state minister Vinod Tawde said local authorities and police would assess the law and order situation and then decide if educational institutions would remain open in Thane, Mumbai, Raigad, and surrounding areas on Wednesday.
“We will continue our agitation until Fadnavis apologises to the Maratha community,” Ravindra Patil, the coordinator of a pro-reservation group, said earlier, according to PTI. “We will observe bandh in Aurangabad and other parts of the state today.”
DCP Deepak Deoraj, public relations officer of Mumbai Police, told The Indian Express that all necessary deployments have been put in place and vigilance teams ordered to keep a watch on “sensitive” pockets. “We have told them to protest peacefully,” he said.
The Maratha Kranti Morcha asked Fadnavis to apologise for alleging that some members of the community were planning violence at a temple in Pandharpur.
On Sunday, the chief minister had said he was cancelling his visit to the temple the next day as Maratha outfits had threatened to disrupt the event. He said that police had allegedly intercepted messages suggesting protestors would “release snakes among devotees” or create stampede-like situations.
Protests have taken place in Buldhana, Akola, Parali, Washim and Mumbai in the last few days.