Mumbai, August 9: The Maratha outfits have called for a state-wide bandh in Maharashtra today seeking reservation for the community in jobs and education. The call for the day-long bandh was taken after members of the Maratha Kranti Morcha (MKM) held a meeting in Aurangabad on Wednesday and reached a consensus to take their agitation forward on Thursday. The pan-Maharashtra bandh will be observed from 8 am to 6 pm.
Schools, colleges and several commercials in Pune will remain closed as a precautionary measure. In view of the bandh, a majority of the commercial units in the Chakan industrial area have also decided to remain closed tomorrow. In the wake of the protest, roads are likely to be blocked as the protestors would observe a sit-in protest at may places while traffic is likely to take a hit.
Reports inform that the protesting outfits have instructed their workers not to damage public properties and observe peaceful protest across the state. According to reports, a sit-in agitation will be held at outside the office of the Mumbai suburban collector in Bandra (East) while Thane and Navi Mumbai areas will be exempted from the protest this time.
The Maratha Kranti Morcha, which is spearheading the agitation for reservation in jobs and education, has called for the shutdown in Maharashtra. Meanwhile, the Sakal Maratha Samaj, an umbrella body of all the Maratha outfits has announced peaceful protests in Mumbai.
On July 30, Morcha leader Vinod Pokharkar said, "We will hold a mega rally in Mumbai on August 9, August Kranti Din. We want to show our strength and endurance to the government". Quotas for Marathas, a politically influential community that constitutes around 30 per cent of the state's population, has been a hugely contentious issue. In the past two years, the Maratha Kranti Morcha has held 58 mook morchas (silent protests) across the state in the wake of rape and murder of a girl in Kopardi in Ahmednagar.