Two days after violence erupted at Chakan near Pune during the Maratha quota agitation, fifteen people were arrested on Thursday. At least four policemen were injured in stone-pelting during the protest at Chakan, 40 km from Pune, on July 30. Pune Rural Police had identified nearly 100 persons who were part of groups that were involved in the acts of arson and vandalism on Monday.
“We have held 18 persons including three minors for arson and damage to public property including public and private buses,” a senior police officer attached to Chakan police station told PTI.
As many as 20 vehicles were gutted and 70 more damaged in the industrial belts of Chakan and Khed when the agitation for Maratha reservation took a violent turn two days ago.
The police officer said that most of the accused are from surrounding areas and were identified from CCTV and other video footage. They will be produced before a court in Pune today. The violent protest had damaged property worth Rs 10 crore.
According to Police, the agitation was initially peaceful, but later some “anti-social elements” from outside took advantage of the situation and started pelting stones. Over the past two weeks, Maratha organisations have revived their agitation for reservation in jobs and education for the community.
Police had also invoked sections of the Highways Act and Section 26 of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) Act, to take action against protesters who burnt tyres and blocked the highway, as per directives of the NGT’s Pune bench.
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