reservation row

Maratha quota stir: At least 185 people arrested for violence and vandalism in Pune

Twenty people were arrested in Aurangabad for damaging public property vehicles; a police officer said all the accused were ‘outside elements’.

At least 185 people were arrested Pune city and 20 in Aurangabad in connection with incidents of violence and vandalism during a shutdown called by Maratha groups on Thursday, PTI quoted a police officer as saying. The groups have been demanding reservations for the community in government jobs and education.

In one incident on Thursday, protestors threw stones and bottles at security forces in Chandani Chowk in Pune. The police retaliated by firing tear gas shells and resorting to baton-charge, reported the Pune Mirror. “The situation went out of control as the protestors also broke the windshield of a police van and started throwing stones,” said Sub-inspector Ankush Karad. “We had to fire around five teargas shells to bring the situation under control.”

In another incident, protestors vandalised the main gate of the administrative building at the collector’s office, broke the glass and a few bulbs at the security cabin. This happened after conveners of the Maratha Kranti Morcha submitted a memorandum of their demands to District Collector Naval Kishore Ram. According to the police, the protestors were detained as they were unwilling to leave the premises.

“While 83 people were arrested in connection with the Chandani Chowk stone-pelting incident, 81 others were arrested for vandalism at the collector’s office,” said Joint Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Shivaji Bodkhe. “Besides, 21 others were arrested for sporadic incidents.”

All those arrested have been booked under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act. Bodkhe said all the accused were “outside elements” who had made their way into the protests.

In Aurangabad, 20 people were arrested for torching and damaging vehicles as well as public property, said police commissioner Chiranjeev Prasad, according to PTI.

Industry associations said protestors targeted 60 industrial premises in Waluj area of Aurangabad district. Industrialist Ravi Vaidya claimed factories in the district shut down their units on Friday to mark their protest against the attack.

The shutdown was called by Sakal Maratha Samaj, an umbrella body of Maratha groups, across the state except in Navi Mumbai, where protests last month had turned violent. The Maratha Kranti Morcha had called for a sit-in protest outside the Mumbai suburban district collector’s office.

Protestors disrupted road traffic in Latur, Jalna, Solapur and Buldhana districts. No state bus plied in Satara while all petrol pumps and vegetable markets remained shut. State-run buses were also partially suspended in Osmanabad and Buldhana. The state bus service was not running in Pune too. Authorities in Pune had suspended internet services in parts of the district as a precaution.

Support our journalism by subscribing to Scroll+ here. We welcome your comments at
Sponsored Content BY 

Decoding the symbolic threads and badges of one of India’s oldest cavalry units

The untold story of The President’s Bodyguard.

The national emblem of India; an open parachute and crossed lances – this triad of symbols representing the nation, excellence in training and valor respectively are held together by an elite title in the Indian army – The President’s Bodyguard (PBG).

The PBG badge is worn by one of the oldest cavalry units in the India army. In 1773, Governor Warren Hastings, former Governor General of India, handpicked 50 troopers. Before independence, this unit was referred to by many titles including Troops of Horse Guards and Governor General’s Body Guards (GGBG). In 1950, the unit was named The President’s Bodyguard and can be seen embroidered in the curved maroon shoulder titles on their current uniforms.

The President’s Bodyguard’s uniform adorns itself with proud colours and symbols of its 245 year-old-legacy. Dating back to 1980, the ceremonial uniform consists of a bright red long coat with gold girdles and white breeches, a blue and gold ceremonial turban with a distinctive fan and Napoleon Boots with spurs. Each member of the mounted unit carries a special 3-meter-long bamboo cavalry lance, decorated by a red and white pennant. A sheathed cavalry sabre is carried in in the side of the saddle of each trooper.

While common perception is that the PBG mainly have ceremonial duties such as that of being the President’s escort during Republic Day parade, the fact is that the members of the PBG are highly trained. Handpicked by the President’s Secretariat from mainstream armored regiments, the unit assigns a task force regularly for Siachen and UN peace keeping operations. Moreover, the cavalry members are trained combat parachutists – thus decorating the PBG uniform with a scarlet Para Wings badge that signifies that these troopers are a part of the airborne battalion of the India Army.

Since their foundation, the President’s Guard has won many battle honors. In 1811, they won their first battle honor ‘Java’. In 1824, they sailed over Kalla Pani for the first Burmese War and earned the second battle honour ‘Ava’. The battle of Maharajapore in 1843 won them their third battle honor. Consequently, the PBG fought in the main battles of the First Sikh War and earned four battle honours. Post-independence, the PBG served the country in the 1962 Indo-China war and the 1965 Indo-Pak war.

The PBG, one of the senior most regiments of the Indian Army, is a unique unit. While the uniform is befitting of its traditional and ceremonial role, the badges that augment those threads, tell the story of its impressive history and victories.

How have they managed to maintain their customs for more than 2 centuries? A National Geographic exclusive captures the PBG’s untold story. The documentary series showcases the discipline that goes into making the ceremonial protectors of the supreme commander of the Indian Armed Forces.


The National Geographic exclusive is a landmark in television and is being celebrated by the #untoldstory contest. The contest will give 5 lucky winners an exclusive pass to the pre-screening of the documentary with the Hon’ble President of India at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. You can also nominate someone you think deserves to be a part of the screening. Follow #UntoldStory on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to participate.

This article was produced by Scroll marketing team on behalf of National Geographic and not by the Scroll editorial team.