Vinod Patil, one of the coordinators of the Maratha Kranti Morcha and a petitioner in the ongoing battle between the Maratha community and the state government in Bombay High Court, tells The Indian Express that the Morcha has demanded a CID probe into incidents of violence during Thursday’s Maharashtra bandh
During the Maharashtra bandh on Thursday called by the Maratha Kranti Morcha, reports of violence had emerged from Pune and Aurangabad, just like it did earlier in Chakan and other places. Has the Maratha agitation lost its way?
We strongly feel the violence during the Maharashtra bandh was perpetrated by outsiders… We are confident that no one from the Maratha community was involved in it. We have demanded a CID probe into incidents of violence so that the truth can be revealed.
Have you decided to call off agitations on the streets and instead take up chain hunger strikes?
Some of the coordinators did make such announcements on Friday, but I think it was done under pressure, in the wake of the incidents of violence. Nothing has been decided so far. We have not yet taken a final decision about calling off our agitations on the streets. We will take a decision about our future course of action in the next two days at our meeting, either in Pune or Mumbai.
What is on the agenda of your meeting?
We will discuss what we gained through the agitation and what kind of opposition we faced during it. Important decisions regarding the way the agitation will proceed in the future will be taken in the meeting.
The Morcha has been demanding withdrawal of all cases against agitators. In view of the continuing violence, are you firm on the demand?
Yes, we want all the cases against the agitators withdrawn. The chief minister had said that serious cases will not be withdrawn. But we are firm on withdrawal of all the cases.
Is it true to say that violence has become an integral part of your agitation?
We never encourage violence. We have always called upon the people to protest peacefully.
Every coordinator in the Morcha is speaking differently about the agitation. The government seems to be confused over whom to talk to. Do you plan to come up with a jumbo committee?
We have not named our leadership so far because of the fear that they will become puppets in the hands of the government or try to gain political mileage. But yes, we are thinking about forming a jumbo team of intellectuals, who could hold dialogues with the government. Nothing has been decided as yet, but we are thinking on those lines.