Maratha Morcha turns aggressive, tension in parts of State

Pune: The Maratha Morcha, which has been organised on a large scale for more than a year now and which has been appreciated for their planning, patience and non-violent approach, has taken a violent turn in many places in the State and rural areas in Pune. The city though saw a peaceful bike rally from Marathon Bhavan to Sambhaji statue at Deccan on Tuesday.

The Maratha community has been demanding reservation under the OBC (Other Backward Castes), a dilution of the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act, implementation of the Swaminathan Commission recommendations, economic aid under the Annasaheb Patil Mahamandal and other such demands. The primarily agrarian community has seen a prevailing tension about economic and social issues in recent years.

While the issue of Maratha reservations is being decided by the judiciary, the State government announced a mega drive to recruit 16,000 people, pushing the already agitated Marathas over the edge due to the fear of losing out on the huge recruitment opportunity as the reservations have not yet been finalised or implemented. This has caused the fresh round of protests around the State, turning the ‘mukh’ (silent) morcha, into a ‘thok’ (beat up) morcha.

In the aggressive reaction, the Maratha protesters have reportedly pelted stones at government offices in Baramati and instances of aggressive demonstrations were reported in various areas of Marathwada.