The strike call given by various Maratha organisations on Thursday partially affected life across Maharashtra. Large-scale reports of violence and arson were reported from Pune.
Internet services remained suspended as a precautionary measure in many districts.
In Pune, the protesters pelted stones in areas such as Kothrud and damaged public property. There were also reports of agitators entering public offices and threatening the staff. Buses of the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) also kept off the roads, while petrol pumps and vegetable markets are closed.
State coordinator of the Maratha Kranti Morcha (MKM), Sanjiv Bhor Patil, told BusinessLine that the strike was peaceful barring eight incidents of violence. Members of MKM observed peaceful protests in over 7,000 places in the State, he claimed. Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai were deliberately excluded from the strike as any kind of serious violence could also escalate into a major conflagration in these areas.
Thursday’s strike was seen by the MKM’s youth supporters as an ultimatum to the Devendra Fadnavis’s BJP-Shiv Sena government. Patil said if the government continued to have an indifferent attitude towards the Maratha community, then the MKM would be soon forced to go on an indefinite strike.
In Mumbai, the strike partially affected everyday life but people chose to remain indoors as a precautionary measure. Attendance in schools and colleges was thin. The protesters carried out a peaceful strikes outside the Collector’s office in suburban Mumbai. They tied black ribbons around their mouths and eyes to portray an apathetic administration.
In Washim district, State schools, colleges and markets were shut due to the strike. In Satara, no MSRTC buses were running and all vehicles were parked at the central bus stand. Petrol pumps and vegetable markets were also closed.