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Maratha protests: Bandh held at Maharashtra's Pimpri Chinchwad against Jalna lathi charge

Pune (Maharashtra): The Pimpri Chinchwad city in Maharashtra's Pune district observed a bandh on Saturday against last week's lathi charge on people agitating in Jalna district demanding reservation for the Maratha community. The bandh was called by the 'Maratha Kranti Morcha.' 

On September 1, a clash broke out between police and protestors who were demanding reservations for the Maratha community, with police resorting to a lathi-charge to disperse the demonstrators. Several Opposition leaders condemned Chief Minister Eknath Shinde-led state government for the incident.

Visuals from marketplaces in Pimpri show that all the shutters of shops were down except those of essentials. Several protesters from the Maratha community took out a rally and raised slogans against alleged police atrocities against the protesters.

"The government had lathi-charged the Jalna Maratha protesters in an inhuman way and fired on them. Even women and the elderly were not spared. Jarange Patil is on a hunger strike. We are also demanding reservations for the Maratha community. We believe that those who are in the majority should have proportionate rights to resources. Marathas should get their share. Everyone should get their share. We do not want anyone to fight against the Marathas," one of the protesters said.

"All the shops are shut. Everyone, including women and students, are going to participate in the protest. Everything will be done in peace. Both the Centre and the state are trapping the Marathas intentionally," another protester said.

Earlier on Friday night Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde held a meeting with a group of protesters from Jalna in Mumbai, and later said that "there was a positive discussion." The meeting was convened after a delegation of protesters from Jalna came and met CM Eknath Shinde in Mumbai.

"There has been a positive discussion with the delegation sent by Maratha agitation leader Manoj Jarange Patil... we hope that this will find a way,” CM Shinde said while speaking to reporters after the meeting. (ANI)

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