Mumbai Sees Continuing Protests : Protests by Maratha organizations in various parts of the state persist following a police lathicharge in Jalna, where demonstrators demanded reservation for the Maratha community. Concurrently, Uddhav Thackeray, the Chief of Shiv Sena (UBT), voiced strong criticism, labeling the Eknath Shinde government as “shameless.”
Uddhav Thackeray’s Rebuke
Uddhav Thackeray expressed his outrage, stating, “I had gone to Jalna to meet the protesters. This state government is shameless. They have brutally beaten everyone, including women. Now, they are not taking responsibility and playing the blame game. This government is sending a message that if anyone protests for justice, we will break his head.”
Violence Erupts in Jalna
The catalyst for these protests was the police’s use of lathicharge and tear gas shells to disperse a violent mob in Antarwali Sarathi village of Jalna district. The protestors were demanding medical assistance for an individual on a hunger strike and sought to prevent his hospitalization, which resulted in clashes. This incident left numerous individuals injured, including approximately 40 policemen, and resulted in the torching of more than 15 government buses.
A Brief History of Maratha Reservation
In 2018, during Devendra Fadnavis’ tenure as Chief Minister of Maharashtra, the Maratha community was granted reservation in government jobs and educational institutions within the state. However, in May 2021, the Supreme Court invalidated this decision, citing reasons such as exceeding the 50 percent total reservation cap, among others.
The ongoing protests reflect the deep-seated discontent within the Maratha community regarding reservation issues, highlighting the need for a comprehensive resolution to address their concerns.