The Maharashtra government on Thursday requested the Centre to deploy troops to help it prevent any violence during the upcoming Maratha protests on August 9, reported PTI. The Maratha community has been demanding reservations in jobs and education. Umbrella organisation Maratha Kranti Morcha has a fresh round of protests on August 9.

The Maharashtra Police on Thursday arrested 18 people in connection with the violence that broke out in Chakan near Pune over the issue of Maratha reservation, reported ANI. Sandip Patil, Superintendent of Police, Pune Rural, confirmed the development.

The Pune Sessions Court sent 15 of the 18 people arrested to police custody till August 8, ANI reported. The remaining three accused, all minors, were not in produced in court.

The police said that three others were arrested on Thursday in Goa for their alleged involvement in the violence during the agitation in Navi Mumbai on July 25, said PTI. The stir had turned violent and led to the death of a 21-year-old man, Rohan Todkar, who was allegedly assaulted by a mob. Todkar succumbed to his injuries in Mumbai two days later. A murder case was registered and the probe later transferred to Navi Mumbai Crime Branch.

Bhushan Bhagwan Agaskar, Ashish Kale, and Chandrashekar Vishwanath Patil were arrested from a village near Calangute beach after Navi Mumbai police informed their Goa counterparts and passed on photographs of the accused, said Calangute police inspector Jivba Dalvi. He said the three were wanted by Navi Mumbai police for offences including murder, hurting using dangerous weapons, unlawful assembly, and rioting. They were taken into police custody and transferred to Maharashtra.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday met representatives of the Maratha film industry over the issue of reservations, reported ANI.

The police on Tuesday had registered two cases against more than 4,000 protestors. On Monday, workers of the Maratha Kranti Morcha allegedly blocked the Pune-Nashik highway demanding reservations in jobs and education for the Maratha community. Protestors reportedly torched five buses and damaged around 50 vehicles. Four policemen and three civilians were injured in the violence as the police fired tear gas shells in the air to control the crowd.

Police said that the violence appeared to be planned as protestors, some of whom were allegedly outsiders, came to Chakan with swords and petrol cans. “Some troublemakers had come with all preparation to create a disturbance,” Patil had said. Maharashtra Minister of State for Home, Deepak Kesarkar, said on Tuesday that police would trace “anti-social” elements who supposedly infiltrated the protests, reported PTI.

The Shiv Sena has urged the Maharashtra government to give reservation to Marathas, Dhangars and Kolis, saying the state would become unstable if all these communities come out and protest.