Maratha Quota Stir: Cases lodged against 3,000 agitators in Chakan, Khed

Mumbai: Normalcy returned to the industrial area of Chakan outside Pune City on Tuesday, after two days of violence by Maratha agitators. Two cases have been lodged against nearly 3,000 persons under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections pertaining to rioting, arson and the use of criminal force to deter a public servant from discharging his duty, among others, at Chakan and Khed police stations.

At least eight policemen, including three senior officials, suffered injuries of varying degrees in scuffles with irate mobs. One police official, Ajay Bhapkar, suffered serious head and back injuries and is undergoing treatment at Pune’s Jehangir Hospital. “While the other policemen suffered relatively minor injuries, the condition of Bhapkar is serious. He has not yet regained consciousness,” said Vishwas Nangare- Patil, Inspector-General of police, Kolhapur Range. Patil interacted with agitators in Chakan and appealed them to give up violence.

According to estimates, more than 50 vehicles – ST buses, buses of Pimpri-Chinchwad Public Transport Limited, private vehicles and police vans – were either damaged or torched by protesting mobs. Ravaging mobs torched vehicles outside Chakan police station as well. While the prohibitory orders clamped on Monday to rein in the violence were lifted, bus services from Chakan to Pune were halted in the wake of clashes. Likewise, services along the Pune-Nashik route were suspended for the second consecutive day, causing commuters great discomfort.

The police on Tuesday said the violent protests caused loss of property to the tune Rs 10 crore has been estimated due to the violence. “With the help of CCTV footage and video clips, so far 25 people have been identified who resorted to violence on Monday,” said a senior police officer. Nearly half a dozen police officials, including DySP Ganpat Madgulkar and inspector of the Chakan police station, Dhanyakumar Godse had sustained minor injuries, the police have said.

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