Pro-quota Maratha protesters parade effigy depicting Modi with bangles in Nagpur

Radhika Dhawad | Aug 9, 2018 15:26
Photojournalist: Abhishek Thakare

NAGPUR: Pro-quota Maratha protesters of the group ‘Sakal Maratha Samaj’ today morning (August 9, 2018) took Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s effigy on streets with bangles tied around his neck. Apart from targeting Modi, the protesters also carried placards that read ‘Kopardi rape and murder accused should be hanged.’ Despite the heavy police security, protesters  turned violent as they smashed the screens of buses and other vehicles in some areas of Nagpur.

The Maratha community has been demanding a 16% reservation in jobs and educational institutions. In spite of assurances given by the Devendra Fadnavis Government about Maratha reservations in jobs and education, the Maratha community called for a Maharashtra Bandh today.

Acting on the advice of Maratha community and fearing any untoward incident, schools and colleges in several cities of the state have declared a holiday on August 9. The Sakal Maratha Samaj in Nagpur, during a press conference on Tuesday called for the complete shutdown of schools, colleges, business establishments, public transport system, etc.

Maratha leader Raje Mudhoji Bhonsle, who will be spearheading the bandh in Nagpur tomorrow, while speaking to Nation Next said, “We have also called for a peaceful Nagpur bandh on August 9. In spite of 58 silent protests till now, the government has not taken the action it should have taken. It’s our last warning to the government that we have been protesting in a peaceful way till now. If any untoward incident happens, the government will be responsible for it.”

Bhonsle added, “Maharashtra CM Fadnavis has just been assuring us. We have been told that the issue will be sorted out till November. How will it get sorted out just ahead of the Lok Sabha Polls of 2019? This is just an attempt to prolong things.” Bhonsle also informed that the community members will be going to different places in Nagpur to ensure that establishments are shut down on the day of the bandh.

Maximum shops, offices, educational institutions in Nagpur remain shut today thus bringing the city to a standstill. However, Nagpur Police through its bulk message, assured people and provide a helpline number. They wrote, “Situation is peaceful. Don’t spread & do not believe in rumours. Police Bandobast is deployed. For any information call 07122561103.”