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Maratha quotas: Maharashtra shutdown ends with violence

Mumbai, Aug 9: Despite appeals by the organisers, the Maratha-sponsored Maharashtra shutdown turned violent in many parts of the state with incidents of arson, road blocks and clashes with police before it ended on Thursday evening, officials said. Though the shutdown got on to a peaceful start in the morning, within hours there were many incidents of violence, especially in Pune district. A dozen public and private vehicles were damaged in other parts of the state. The Maratha Kranti Morcha and Sakala Maratha Samaj had issued a ‘code of conduct’ to the supporters to ensure a violence-free shutdown but it remained on paper.

In Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai, only token protests were held, the suburban trains services on the Western Railway, Central Railway and Metro Railway operated normally and traffic was unhindered. Attempts were made to block the railways in Nagpur, Pune and Nanded. The Umri railway station was attacked and damaged, leading to delays or cancellations of several long-distance trains on various routes. There were road blocks on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway, Mumbai-Goa Highway, Mumbai-Nashik Highway and the old Mumbai-Pune Highway which remained practically traffic-free due to the shutdown. Activists climbed on the walls of the Pune Collectorate building, induled in stone-pelting and attempted to stop mediapersons from reporting the protests. In Latur, Sholapur, Jalna, Hingoli and Ahmednagar, tyres were burnt on roads. (IANS)

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