Peaceful sit-in stir turns violent; vehicles damaged

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NASHIK: The day-long sit-in agitation announced by Nashik district co-ordination committee of Marathas ended at 5 pm on Thursday, with incidents of verbal clashes between political leaders and the youth protesters, incidences of manhandling and vehicle damages and forceful shutting down of the commercial establishments across the city.

At Dongare Vastigrih ground where the protesters had resorted to sit-in agitation peacefully, suddenly turned violent with the incidents of manhandling and verbal clashes between the youth protesters and the political leaders.

During the course, as many as five vehicles were damaged by the agitating youths at the protest venue, who were opposing politicians on the desk. Former MLA Manikrao Kokate who was present at the venue was reportedly manhandled by some of the protesters. Kokate was even forced to leave the desk.

“This was an attempt by some of the intruders to spoil and sabotage Maratha agitation. Police must go through CCTV footage to search out those who tried to derail peaceful Maratha agitation,” said former MLA Kokate following the incident.

District co-ordination committee chief Chandrakant Bankar, Adv Shridhar Mane, Prakash Mate, Hansraj Vadghule, Shiv Sena district chief Vijay Karanjkar, Sunil Bagul, former MLA Manikrao Kokate, Ajay Boraste, Ranjan Thakare and Uddhav Nimse among a large number of Maratha protesters throughout the district were present.

The city almost wore a deserted look when the angry youths hit the streets following the sudden happenings at Dongare Vastigrih ground, forcing the commercial establishments to shut their shops down for a day.

In a bid to prevent any untoward incident and for the safety of the passengers, the MSRTC, Nashik division had suspended its bus services from its 13 depots in the district thus cancelling in all 4,928 bus trips, as a result of which the division had to lose over Rs 1 crore in terms of revenue losses in a day.

Meanwhile, violence reported from some areas of the state. 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.

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.

Police register offences against 8 agitators
Nashik: A process to file offences against organisers as well as agitators for organisation of march and road block though there was permission for sit-in agitation was going on late in the night on Thursday. Meanwhile police took four for pelting stones on buses and other four for pelting stones during agitation.
Disapproving the call by local committee for sit-in agitation, city police permitted organisers to stage it near Dongre Vastigruh ground, but a chaos was prevailed within two hours after start of the agitation. Disapproving the option of sit-in agitation, agitators started the march. They forced to shut a hotel at Meher signal and tried to block road at Shalimar Chowk.
Agitators also blocked the road at Dwarka Circle for half-an-hour around 4.30 pm.  Sarkarwada police arrested four for stone pelting on the buses at Thakkar Bazaar bus stand and old CBS. In addition police also took three minors for pelting stone during the march on Thursday. One suspect has also been arrested.

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