Mumbai, (The Hindu): The Statewide shutdown called by the Maratha Kranti Morcha, following the suicide of a young activist demanding reservation for the Maratha community, kept Maharashtra on edge on Tuesday.
The Marathwada region remained tense, while anger was in the air throughout Aurangabad district — the nerve centre of the bandh, called after 28-year-old Kakasaheb Dattatrey Shinde, a driver associated with the Shiv Sena, plunged into the Godavari in the Gangapur tehsil of the district on Monday afternoon.
A massive crowd gathered for Shinde’s funeral, as schools and colleges across the region remained shut. Agitated mourners raised slogans against the Devendra Fadnavis-led BJP-Sena government. Shiv Sena MP from Aurangabad Chandrakant Khaire and Congress legislator Subhash Zambad were heckled when they came for the funeral. Mr. Khaire was forced to leave.
Protests, sit-ins, road blocks and stray incidents of violence were reported from Marathwada region of Maharashtra, throwing traffic and normal life out of gear in several districts on Tuesday.
The Statewide shutdown was called by the Maratha Kranti Morcha following the suicide of Kakasaheb Dattatrey Shinde, a young activist demanding reservation for the Maratha community.
The State government announced Rs.10 lakh compensation for Shinde’s kin. It also suspended Gangapur tehsildar Chandrakant Shelke and police inspector Sunil Birla for ‘failing’ to prevent his suicide.
The agitation took a violent turn near the bridge on the Godavari at Kaygaon Toka (the spot where Shinde committed suicide) in Aurangabad.
Despite strong police deployment, a mob began pelting stones on security personnel. According to reports, two police jawans were injured even as the mob damaged and torched a Fire Brigade vehicle.
Roadblocks in Jamkhed tehsil of Ahmednagar led to major traffic snarls. A total shutdown was observed in Beed, Nanded and Osmanabad districts, with government as well as private establishments downing shutters.
In Osmanabad, a mob staged a demonstration in front of the District Collector’s office, while the police resorted to a lathi-charge to disperse protesters.
A police constable, deployed for security at the funeral of Shinde, died after suffering a cardiac arrest. He was identified as Shyam Laxman Padgaonkar, hailing from Osmanabad.
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