The Maratha reservation agitation is intensifying in the state, with noticeable effects in Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar on Thursday.
Protesters from the Sakal Maratha Samaj organised a 'Rasta Roko' demonstration, causing a two-hour traffic jam on Jalna Road on Thursday afternoon. They gathered near the Chhatrapati Shivaji statue in Mukundwadi and ignited tires on the busy Jalna Road, bringing traffic on both sides to a standstill. The demonstrators chanted slogans in support of Maratha reservations and against the government.
Activist Manoj Jarange launched an indefinite hunger strike at Antarwali Sarati in Jalna district on October 25 to press for Maratha reservation. His agitation has gained substantial support from all over Maharashtra. As part of the protest, hunger strikes and demonstrations are taking place in various parts of the city.
On Thursday afternoon, members of the Sakal Maratha Samaj assembled at Mukundwadi Chowk. They set tyres on fire on the road also defaced posters of Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar. An effigy of Chhagan Bhujbal was placed on a donkey and paraded in the area.
Women, senior citizens, and youngsters participated in the protest in significant numbers. The Mukundwadi area saw a heavy police presence.
To manage the situation, the police restricted traffic at the Seth Nandlal Dhoot Hospital Chowk and diverted it towards the Chikalthana MIDC area. Similarly, traffic from the other side was blocked at the API Chowk and rerouted through the Prozone Mall Road. This led to significant traffic congestion in the Chikalthana area for approximately three hours, with long queues of vehicles on the road.