Saturday, July 13, 2024

Maratha stir: Stray violence continues, Maha police hit back with cases against protestors

Stray incidents of violence continued to mar the Maratha quota agitation in different parts of Maharashtra, even as the police in several districts hit back by booking over 800 people and filing more than 150 cases against the perpetrators, officials said here on Wednesday.

In the latest targeting of senior politicians, some unidentified protestors blocked and attacked the SUV of state Minister Hasan Mushrif which was parked near the Mantralaya in south Mumbai.

The Minister, belonging to the breakaway Nationalist Congress Party (AP), was not in the car when the group ranting ‘Ek Maratha, Lakh Maratha’ slogans pelted stones at the vehicle before escaping from the spot.

Later, police detained two suspects while Mushrif sought to downplay the incident saying, that “some outsiders may be using the quota stir to settle local political scores”, but said “violence in any form is a matter of concern”.

He reiterated that the state government is sincerely working to resolve the quotas issue.

Congress MLC Rajesh Rathod’s car was stoned and vandalised in Nanded, while ruling Shiv Sena MLA Shahajibapu Patil’s car was forcibly stopped in Solapur, he faced abuses and angry activists raised slogans slamming Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy CMs Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar.

In another development, some miscreants torched a gram panchayat office at Purna in Parbhani district this afternoon, the second such incident of arson in a government office in the last three days.

The Maharashtra Cyber Police Cell has deleted more than two dozen objectionable posts from various social media platforms in the last couple of days when large-scale violence rocked some districts on Monday-Tuesday.

Some of the posts that were taken down were said to be inflammatory with potential to trigger passions and violence as they had objectionable content against certain political leaders.

Prohibitory orders continued in Beed, Dharashiv, Nanded and some other areas that witnessed violence, while Internet services have been blocked till Thursday in Jalna and Beed.

Police in various affected districts have hit back by booking more than 800 known or unidentified people, and filing at least 150 cases invoking stringent charges.

Taking strong cognisance, Fadnavis warned that those who attacked ministers or government offices could face “attempt to murder” charges and other serious Sections, while appealing to the Marathas to exercise restraint in the agitation.

In Jalna’s Antaravali-Sarati village, Shivba Sanghatana chief Manoj Jarange-Patil slammed the government for the cases being filed against the children of poor Marathas who had nothing to do with the violence.

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