Pune After a brief lull, various Maratha outfits once again looked to spark their agitation for reservations into life with violent protests in western Maharashtra on Monday. Police were forced to fire tear gas shells in the air in some places to quell the protests.

Protesters in Chakan attacked policemen and damaged at least 100 vehicles. Maratha protestors blocked the Pune-Nashik highway for at least four hours on Monday morning, despite leaders from the protesting Maratha organisations appealing to community members not to indulge into violence.

Monday’s protests came a day after chief minister Devendra Fadnavis reiterated his government’s commitment to reservations for Marathas and also assured a delegation headed by former chief minister Narayan Rane of withdrawing cases against agitators.

Violence first broke out as members of the Sakal Maratha Samaj held a protest march in the morning at the industrial town of Chakan. “Few youngsters suddenly started pelting stones despite appeal by police to maintain peace,” said Sandeep Pakhale, additional superintendent of police (ASP). Seven people, including four policemen, sustained injuries, while four vehicles were torched. To control the mob, police had to fire tear gas shells in the air.

In Solapur, protestors attacked a vehicle in which the deputy police commissioner was driving. In Pandharpur, protestors damaged state transport buses. According to police, 20 vehicles were attacked, of which three were police vehicles. “We have detained 171 people and now the situation is under control,” said Mahadev Tambade, commissioner of police.

First Published: Jul 30, 2018 17:00 IST

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