Mumbai/ New Delhi:
Days after the protest over the Maratha reservation turned violent in Maharashtra’s Jalna, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde will hold a high-level meet today to discuss the demand of the community.
Eknath Shinde has announced that a committee will be set up to probe the violence in Jalna that left several people injured. The Chief Minister also said that Tushar Doshi, District Superintendent of Police, Jalna has been sent on “compulsory leave”.
The clash broke out on Friday when the police tried to shift Maratha agitation leader Manoj Jarange, who was leading the protest, to a hospital on doctor’s advice.
About 40 policemen were injured after protesters started throwing stones at them. Some people also targeted state transport buses and private vehicles, the police said.
Police had to use baton-charge and teargas shells to disperse the mob. Villagers claimed that police also fired some rounds in the air, but officials did not confirm it.
Cases have been registered against more than 350 people for their alleged involvement in the violence, officials said.
Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who is also the state Home Minister, today called Manoj Jarange discussion on the matter and assured him that action will be taken against those responsible for the “unfortunate incident” in Jalna.
Mr Shinde said the state government was committed to provide reservation to the Maratha community. “The state government is taking some steps to give reservation to the community. During Devendra Fadnavis’s tenure as chief minister, the state government had given reservation to the Maratha community but the Supreme Court quashed it,” he said.
Protesters yesterday had gathered at Mumbai’s iconic Marine Drive and also outside the Plaza Cinema in Dadar demanding reservation for the politically dominant Maratha community.
Shiv Sena (UBT) chief Uddhav Thackeray and NCP chief Sharad Pawar slammed the “government brutality” of police lathi-charging the protestors and demanded the resignation of Devendra Fadnavis.
The two leaders also visited the violence-hit village on Saturday. “We met the injured at the hospital. They told us that the situation was normal and the officials were in touch with them, but suddenly the police force lathi-charged,” Sharad Pawar said.