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Maharashtra Police: 141 Cases Registered, 168 Arrested in Maratha Quota Stir

Maharashtra Police has so far registered 141 cases in connection with the violence during the Maratha quota agitations and arrested 168 persons, state Director General of Police Rajnish Seth said on Wednesday. Speaking about the violence in Beed district, he said 20 cases have been registered including seven offences under section 307 (Attempt to murder) […]

Maharashtra Police has so far registered 141 cases in connection with the violence during the Maratha quota agitations and arrested 168 persons, state Director General of Police Rajnish Seth said on Wednesday. Speaking about the violence in Beed district, he said 20 cases have been registered including seven offences under section 307 (Attempt to murder) of the Indian Penal Code between October 24 and 31.

A Rapid Action Force (RAF) company has been deployed in Beed district to avoid any untoward incident and Internet services in Chhatrapati Sambhaji Nagar (rural), Jalna, and Beed have been suspended, Seth told media persons at the state police headquarters in south Mumbai.

Public properties worth Rs 12 crore were damaged by miscreants across the state during demonstrations (over eight days), the DGP said. Notably, houses of Nationalist Congress Party MLAs Prakash Solanke and Sandeep Kshirsagar were torched by protesters in Beed district over the last two days. The office of a legislator from the ruling BJP was vandalised by protesters in Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar district, police had said.

The first floor of the municipal council building in Majalgaon town in Beed district was set on fire and stones were hurled at it by a group of quota agitators on Monday.
Seth said prohibitory orders have been imposed in Beed district under section 144 of the CrPC (Criminal Procedure Code).

Besides the local police, 17 companies of the State Reserve Police Force (SRPF) have been deployed at sensitive locations across Maharashtra, Seth said, adding that 7,000 home guards are also helping the police in maintaining law and order.

“The miscreants involved in damaging public property and arson and those who break the law will be dealt with strictly. We have clear instructions to take strict action. Police will cooperate in peaceful agitations. We have deployed additional manpower wherever required in various districts,” the top police officer added.

Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who handles the home portfolio, on Tuesday said agitators who tried to burn down a house in Beed district with family members inside will face attempt to murder charges.

Maratha community members have launched a fresh round of agitation seeking a quota in government jobs and educational institutes. Quota activist Manoj Jarange has been on an indefinite fast at a village in Jalna district since October 25 in support of the reservation demand.

Earlier on Wednesday, Leaders at an all-party meeting on Maratha quota chaired by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde passed a resolution asking activist Manoj Jarange to call off his indefinite fast.

Between 2016 and 2023, what began as a socio-economic issue that consolidated Marathas under MKM has channelised into a political movement with the reservation issue becoming a tool for mainstream parties to settle scores against each other.

The turning point in the Maratha agitation was the alleged rape and killing of a teenage girl from the community in Kopardi village by four youths. This tragedy sparked widespread outrage, prompting the community to coordinate a large-scale protest rally on August 9, 2016, at Sambhajinagar (then Aurangabad).

This “muk morcha” (silent rally) was characterized by participants wearing black attire, and no slogans or speeches were made. At the end of the rally four persons handed over their charter of demands to the district collector. Under MKM the silent protest was replicated at every district in Maharashtra and 58 rallies were held.

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