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Quota Protest: Maratha Kranti Morcha Calls For Bandh In Kalyan, Opposition Leaders React To Lathi-Charge Incident

Kalyan police have beefed up the security in the town after a bandh was called by the Maratha Kranti Morcha on Monday after police baton-charged protesters in Jalna who were demanding Maratha quota.

Violent clashes erupted in Maharashtras Jalna district as a protest for Maratha reservation turned
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A bandh was called by the Maratha Kranti Morcha on Monday in Kalyan town of Thane district in Maharashtra denouncing the baton charge of the police on the protestors who were demanding Maratha quota in Jalna.

In the wake of the bandh call, security in the town has been stepped up, an official in-charge at the Kalyan police control room said.  

On Monday morning, a number of activists of the Maratha Kranti Morcha moved around in Kalyan town appealing to shopkeepers and other public service providers, including auto-rickshaw drivers, to support the bandh.  So far, there was not much affect of the bandh, the official at the police control room told PTI. Essential services were exempted from the bandh, the morcha members said.

However, the Maratha Kranti Morcha's local leader Harshwardhan Palande claimed most of the shops in eastern part of Kalyan were closed. He said the auto-rickshaws were operating so that office-goers do not face any inconvenience. 

On Sunday, the Maratha Kranti Morcha activists protested against the Jalna incident by crushing pumpkins with their legs at the Shivaji Chowk in Kalyan.

What happened in the Jalna protests?

Police baton charged and lobbed tear gas shells to disperse a violent mob in Antarwali Sarathi village in Jalna district on Friday after protesters allegedly refused to let authorities shift to hospital a man on hunger strike for Maratha quota.

Several persons. including 40 police personnel, were injured and more than 15 ST buses were set ablaze in the violence.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Sunday announced that Jalna district superintendent of police, Tushar Doshi, is sent on compulsory leave and two DYSP-rank officers transferred out of Jalna district.

Shinde said ADGP (law and order) Sanjay Saxena would probe the lathi-charge incident, and if required, a judicial probe would be conducted.

Opposition leaders react to lathi-charge incident

Sanjay Raut

Shiv Sena (UBT) MP Sanjay Raut on Monday sought to know who ordered the lathi-charge on protesters demanding Maratha quota in Maharashtra's Jalna district last week. 

Speaking to reporters, Raut asked, "Who made a call from the office of chief minister and state home minister without an order from top officials? The local police will never resort to lathi-charge and open fire. We want to know who gave those invisible orders over a phone call."

“Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and the two deputy CMs Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar are working with the mindset of General Dyer. They ordered lathi-charge and firing on the Maratha protesters who were sitting on hunger strike peacefully,” the Rajya Sabha member alleged.

Raj Thackeray

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray on Monday met the people agitating in Jalna for the Maratha quota and said they should not allow those who ordered lathi-charge on the protesters to enter Marathwada.

Thackeray reached Antarwali Sarathi village in Jalna and met Manoj Jarange, who has been staging a hunger strike since a week demanding reservation for the Maratha community.

Thackeray said, "Leaders seek your votes and leave you. The agitators should not allow entry into Marathwada of those leaders who ordered the attack with lathis and to hold the agitators at gun-point. This should go on until the leaders apologise."

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While on way to Antarwali Sarathi village, the MNS leader interacted with the agitators at Jamkhed Phata.

"Earlier, politicians promised a statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in the Arabian Sea (off Mumbai coast) and took your votes. But after taking your votes, your issues are ignored," he said. 

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