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Maharashtra bandh Highlights: Security heightened in Aurangabad, RAF deployed

Maharashtra bandh LIVE UPDATES: The Maratha community is demanding written assurance of Maratha reservation, with a time-bound programme for fulfilling it.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: August 9, 2018 10:11:19 pm
Maratha protests today in Mumbai, Pune and other parts of Maharashtra Maharashtra bandh LIVE UPDATES: Policemen stand guard on Aurangabad’s Kaygoan bridge. A section of Marathas will hold a day-long protest demanding reservations in jobs. (Express Photo/Amit Chakravarty)

Maratha leaders have called for a bandh from 8 am to 6 pm across Maharashtra on Thursday, except Navi Mumbai and Thane. While addressing the media a day before, they said the bandh will be carried out peacefully, and there will be no violence. Leaders have also promised to cooperate with the people. Essential services, including public transport, will remain operational. Autorickshaws and taxis are likely to remain off the roads while commercial establishments will shut for the day.

“We have urged agitators to ensure that Thursday’s protests are held peacefully. There should be no violence of any kind, no public property should be damaged,” said Santosh Shinde, president of Sambhaj Brigade’s Pune unit.

The community is demanding written assurance of Maratha reservation, with a time-bound programme for fulfilling it. Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has promised reservation for the community.

In pictures: Marathas protests hit Maharashtra again

Live Blog

Maratha bandh in Mumbai, Pune and other parts of Maharashtra today. Follow LIVE updates below.

20:39 (IST)09 Aug 2018
Shops, schools remain closed in Nagpur 

Most shops, offices, schools and colleges remained closed in response to the Bandh call by Maratha organisations, no incident of violence was reported anywhere, police said.

20:17 (IST)09 Aug 2018
Caste validity of MHT CET students stuck as internet switched off

"Due to ongoing Maratha stir and shutting down of internet services in different parts of Maharashtra, the students could not upload their caste validity certificates. The last date for uploading the documents is August 10," the Social Justice department official said.

16:24 (IST)09 Aug 2018
15:22 (IST)09 Aug 2018

Shiv Sena MLA from Kolhapur Prakash Abitkar protests at the premises of Vidhan Bhavan in Mumbai on Thursday to support the Maratha community. (Express Photo By Ganesh Shirsekar)

15:15 (IST)09 Aug 2018

The mob that has assembled outside the Pune District Collector's office. (Express Photo)

15:11 (IST)09 Aug 2018
Protesters try to vandalise Pune District Collector's office

The ongoing agitation in front of the District Collector's office in Pune took a violent turn as some of the protesters went on rampage at the office premises around 2 pm. Some window glasses of the building were broken and few protesters tried to climb up the compound wall.

Some media persons were stopped from covering the incident by the agitators. The ruckus took place after district collector Naval Kishore Ram accepted a letter of representation from the leaders of the protest. Police have detained some protesters.

13:30 (IST)09 Aug 2018
Did WhatsApp fuel June's protest? Police probe underway

After the Maratha protests last month, which claimed nine lives, the police have identified over 3,000 "fake posts" on WhatsApp which may have instigated the agitation. “One of the posts used photographs of Shivaji Maharaj and his mother Jijabai to render authenticity while calling for a ‘Thok morcha’… the emblem of the organiser was also used. This message was later found to be fake,” said an officer citing a message that went viral on WhatsApp.

Read: Police probe if social media instigated stir

12:19 (IST)09 Aug 2018
Aurangabad: RAF, SRPF deployed

The RAF, SRPF and the local police are deployed across Aurangabad district to ensure peace. (Express Photo/Amit Chakravarty)

12:16 (IST)09 Aug 2018
Maratha protest in Mumbai

Maratha groups protest near the office of Mumbai Suburban Collector in Bandra (East) (Express Photos/Vishwas Waghmode)

11:05 (IST)09 Aug 2018
Bombay HC expresses concern about situation

Two days before the bandh, the Bombay High Court had said it hoped the Maratha community will not resort to violence. A division bench of Justices Ranjit More and Anuja Prabhudessai said, “We hope and trust that members of the community do not resort to violence or take extreme steps such as suicide.”

It added, "It is a serious matter and we are concerned about the situation. They must remember that human life is very valuable."

Also read: We hope community won’t resort to violence, take extreme steps: Bombay HC

10:27 (IST)09 Aug 2018
Protesters block roads in Aurangabad amid tight security

Protesters block roads in Aurangabad. Additional personnel have been deployed in Aurangabad, as the district witnessed violent protests during the last agitation. “These districts are the most sensitive and have witnessed sporadic violent protests since July 19. A decision has been taken to provide additional security cover in these areas. We have requested the Centre for additional forces, which would be deployed along with state forces in these sensitive areas,” said a senior official from the DGP office, reported The Indian Express.

Read more: Aurangabad, Kolhapur and Nanded to get extra security cover

(Express Photo/Amit Chakravarty)

10:17 (IST)09 Aug 2018
Mumbai: Bus services suspended

While Maratha leaders have said bus services would not be affected during the state-wide bandh today, services have been suspended. All State Transport (ST) depots in Mumbai remained shut today. No buses are plying from Mumbai Central, Parel or Dadar depots. At least 19,000 state buses are off the roads since midnight. 

10:08 (IST)09 Aug 2018
Protesters halt traffic in Latur, Jalna, Solapur, Buldhana districts

There are reports that protesters have disrupted traffic in Latur, Jalna, Solapur and Buldhana districts. Buses were halted and delayed, according to PTI. State transport buses are not operation today in Satara, and petrol pumps and vegetable markets are closed as well. In Osmanabad and Buldhana districts, state-run transport services are running on some routes.

09:50 (IST)09 Aug 2018
Dos and don't for agitators today

Ahead of the bandh today, Maratha leaders issued a strict 14-point Code of Conduct (CoC) for agitators, which unlines dos and don'ts. The coordinator of Sakar Maratha Samaj Maratha Kranti Morcha (SMSMKM) said, "We have issued out CoC across talukas and districts. We want a peaceful bandh."

Some of the points of the CoC are:

* Protesters should not resort to extreme steps like suicide

* Protesters should not take law and order into their owns hands

*Protesters should cooperate with the police

* CoC warns against falling prey to "whisper campaign"

*Essential services should not be affected

Read the entire list here

09:32 (IST)09 Aug 2018
Pune: Security heightened, internet services suspended

Shops, business establishments, schools and colleges are closed in Pune due to the state-wide bandh called by the Maratha Kranti Morcha. Vegetable markets remain closed as well, while milk tankers are operational. The Pune City Police and Pune Rural Police have been deployed across the city and district to maintain law and order. Pune Police Commissioner K Venkateshan said additional and deputy commissioners are monitoring the situation. Internet services have been suspended in 7 tehsils of Pune district.

09:21 (IST)09 Aug 2018
Why are Marathas protesting?

The Maratha community is demanding the government issue written assurance of reservation in educational institutions and government jobs as well as a road map to how it will be implemented. Despite Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announcing that his government is committed to providing reservation, the protests are likely to continue. This is because the agitation is linked to the agrarian crisis in the state as Marathas are traditionally a landowning caste. Second, reservation is an issue under litigation. In fact, the Bombay High Court has twice rejected a proposed quota for the community.

Explained: Why the Maratha agitation continues

09:05 (IST)09 Aug 2018
One group of Maratha leaders to stage sit-in-protest at Collector's office

The bandh today has been called by one group of Maratha Kranti Morcha leaders, while another group has announced a sit-in protest outside the office of the Mumbai Suburban Collector in Bandra (East) today between 11 am and 2 pm. They maintained that they will not participate in the bandh in Mumbai. Muslim organisations, meanwhile, such as the Maharashtra Muslim Ekta Parishad and Jamait Ulama-i-Maharashtra have extended support to the leaders who have called for the bandh.

09:00 (IST)09 Aug 2018
Public transport operational, airlines issue advisory

Maratha leaders have appealed to autos and taxis to participate in the strike. However, public transport services will be operations. Airline companies have issued an advisory to passengers travelling today, to leave for the airport earlier than usual in anticipation of traffic.

08:46 (IST)09 Aug 2018
Maratha groups call bandh till 6 pm today

The Marathas comprise a third of Maharashtra's population. Since 2016, they have been holding protests to demand reservation in jobs and educational institutions. Maratha groups on Wednesday announced a 12-hour long bandh on Thursday across Maharasthra, except Navi Mumbai and Thane. Follow our live blog through the day for the latest news.

Maratha protests today in Mumbai, Pune and other parts of Maharashtra Maratha bandh in Mumbai LIVE UPDATES: Police personnel deployed Kaygaon bridge in Aurangabad (Express Photo/Amit Chakravarty)

The Marathas comprise a third of Maharashtra's population. For the last two years, they have been demanding reservation in jobs and education. They have staged nearly 60 protests till date.

The latest agitation began on July 18, a day before Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis told the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly that the government was committed to providing reservation for the community. He said it would keep aside 16 per cent vacancies while recruiting for government jobs.

The protests last month turned violence, with buses and local trains stone in several parts of the state. Several police personnel were injured, including A Superintendent of Police and a Deputy Commissioner of Police. The violence had forced Maratha leaders to call of the protests. At least five people have committed suicide since then, and eight others have attempted self-immolation.

Also read | Maratha group issues dos and don’ts to protesters, says suicide no solution

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