The lathicharge on Maratha agitators in Antarwali Sarati village of Ambad taluka in Jalna district on Friday evening triggered widespread protests throughout Maharashtra on Saturday. Most of these protests remained peaceful, with isolated incidents of vehicle burnings primarily reported in Aurangabad district.
In addition to the widespread protests across the state, there were political repercussions as well. Several BJP office bearers from the Maratha community resigned on Saturday, and this trend may gain momentum, according to Maratha community activists.
The Maratha community has scheduled a meeting in Sangli on September 5 to discuss the situation and plan their future course of action. A statewide meeting is also being organized in Kolhapur around September 10, as announced by Dilip Desai, the coordinator of Maratha Morcha. During the protests, some agitators warned that the government should be prepared for retaliation.
Purshottam Khedekar of Maratha Seva Sangh strongly condemned the lathicharge and alleged that it could not have occurred without orders from the home minister. He demanded the government's resignation and accused it of attempting to create a division within the Maratha community.
In Sangli, Vilas Desai resigned from the primary membership of the BJP and called on other Maratha community members to do the same. Protests also took place near the Shivaji Maharaj statue in the city, with protesters venting their anger by kicking effigies of the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Ministers, and shouting slogans against the state government. They announced that the community would abstain from future elections until their demands were met.
In Ahmednagar, a shutdown was observed in Karjat taluka, and protesters staged Rasta Roko demonstrations to condemn the government. A silent rally was also held, warning the government of serious consequences resulting from the incident in Jalna. Meanwhile, the agitation disrupted ST bus services in the district, with many services restricted until further notice.
In Satara, members of the Maratha community met with SP Sameer Shaikh and demanded action against police personnel who led the lathicharge in Jalna. They also staged demonstrations at the Shivaji Maharaj statue in the city.
In Parli town of Beed district, protestors conducted a bike rally, while markets remained closed throughout the day.
In Solapur, protesters attempted to block the Solapur-Akkalkot road by setting tires on fire. Protests were also held in Madha town, where demands were made for action against DCM Fadnavis and the SP of Jalna.
In Parbhani, a strict shutdown was observed in Pathri, Sonpeth, Gangakhed, and Manvat towns, as well as in Parbhani city. Community members delivered a statement to the district collector, demanding action against the Jalna SP.
In Dharashiv (Osmanabad), a strict shutdown was enforced, leading to the suspension of ST bus services.
In Latur, both markets and ST services were affected due to protests, with a strict shutdown observed in protest of the lathicharge.
In Yavatmal, effigies of the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Ministers were burnt, leading to clashes between the police and protesters.
In Nashik, villages in the Yeola and Lasalgaon assembly constituencies observed a complete shutdown, and it was decided that a Rasta Roko agitation would be held in Nandgaon of the district on September 7.