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Maratha quota stir: Internet services suspended in Navi Mumbai

The decision was taken in the wake of the situation in areas like Kopar Khairne, which witnessed violence during the Maratha quota agitation on Wednesday.

SNS Web | New Delhi |

Following the incidents of violence at several places on Wednesday, internet services in Navi Mumbai have been suspended since early Thursday, a police official said.

The decision was taken in the wake of the situation in areas like Kopar Khairne, which witnessed violence during the Maratha quota agitation on Wednesday, he said. The situation in Kopar Khairne was still tense, the official said.

Last evening, the police had lobbed teargas shells and resorted to baton-charge in Kopar Khairane area after a group of protesters stoned vehicles, clashed with local people and indulged in arson.

Miscreants had also set fire to a police outpost. The incidents took place after the Maratha organisations, seeking OBC status to get reservations in government jobs and education, had called off the Mumbai bandh.

A group of protesters who were returning home last night had hurled stones at vehicles of local people in Kopar Khairane, a police official earlier said.

Later, some members of local communities had gathered at the spot and clashed with protesters, he said.

Also Read : Maratha agitation | The road from silent rallies to violent protests

The mob then hurled stones in which some offices and shops were damaged. They also set fire to a police chowky (outpost) near D-Mart supermarket in sector 6.

Five to six cars and over a dozen two-wheelers parked in front of the chowky were also vandalised and torched.

The Mumbai bandh, which began earlier in the day, was called off by Maratha Kranti Morcha just before 3 pm on Wednesday after various parts saw violence.

“We only wanted to prove that we are together and proved it. We never wanted protests to get violent and therefore we are calling off our bandh in Mumbai for today,” Virendra Pawar, leader of the Morcha told reporters.

The Maratha Kranti Morcha had given the call for the bandh, demanding an apology from Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis for alleging that some members from the community were planning violence at Pandharpur town in Solapur district.

The agitating Maratha leaders were demanding that they be given the OBC status by the government and not reservation because any quota, beyond the existing 50 per cent, would be difficult to implement.

If the demand of the Maratha leaders is accepted, they would qualify for all the benefits given under the existing OBC quota.

On Tuesday, Maharashtra witnessed a state-wide bandh observed by Maratha outfits, a day after the death of a Maratha youth in Aurangabad.

Kalasaheb Shinde (27) had committed suicide on Monday by jumping into a river. The Marathi Kranti Morcha has vowed that the agitation will continue until Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis issues an apology to the community.

On Tuesday, large-scale violence had marred a state-wide protest by Maratha outfits demanding reservation for the community in Maharashtra, where a constable died and nine other policemen were injured amid suicide attempt by three agitators.

(With agency inputs)