Protests over Maratha reservation shut down 46 Maharashtra bus depots, causing loss of over ₹13 cr | Mint
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Business News/ News / India/  Protests over Maratha reservation shut down 46 Maharashtra bus depots, causing loss of over 13 cr
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Protests over Maratha reservation shut down 46 Maharashtra bus depots, causing loss of over ₹13 cr

Protests over the Maratha reservation in Maharashtra led to the closure of 46 bus depots, causing losses of ₹13.25 crore.

Activists of the Maratha community in Thane staged a protest outside the Thane Collector's office on Monday to protest against the police lathicharge (beating ) on the protestors protesting for the Maratha reservation in Jalna Maharashtra. (HT)Premium
Activists of the Maratha community in Thane staged a protest outside the Thane Collector's office on Monday to protest against the police lathicharge (beating ) on the protestors protesting for the Maratha reservation in Jalna Maharashtra. (HT)

At least 46 out of 259 bus depots of the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation have been completely shut to protest due to protests over the reservation for the Maratha community, said an official, adding that the MSRTC has suffered losses worth 13.25 crore in the past few days. 

Speaking to PTI, a spokesperson of the MSRTC said, “Bus operations in Ahmednagar, Aurangabad, Parbhani, Hingoli, Jalna, Nanded, and Dharashiv districts have been badly hit by the protests."

He said that around 20 buses were torched and 19 were damaged amid the protests over the last few days. The MSRTC has suffered losses to the tune of 5.25 crore due to damages to the buses and lost 8 crore in ticket sales due to protests in various parts of the state, PTI reported. 

On Friday, a clash broke out between police and protesters demanding reservation for the Marathas in Jalna. Police resorted to lathi charges to disperse the protesters. The next day, that Saturday, CM Shinde said that the state government was committed to providing reservations to the Maratha community.

In 2018, Maharashtra Assembly passed a bill for 16% reservation to Marathas. However, the Supreme Court said that the Maratha quota law was unconstitutional. The court held that separate reservations for the Maratha community violated Article 14 (right to equality) 21 (due process of delay).

In the year 1997, Maratha Sangh and Maratha Seva Sangh organized the first major Maratha agitation for reservation in government jobs and educational institutions. The protestors said that the Marathas were not upper caste but essentially Kunbis (members of the agrarian community).

After a prolonged struggle, the Maharashtra legislature passed a bill proposing a 16% reservation in education and government jobs for the Maratha community. The bill declared Maratha as a socially and educationally backward class by the government.

On 27 June 2019, the High Court upheld the constitutional validity of reservation for the Maratha but asked the government to reduce it from 16% to 12 to 13%, as recommended by the State Backward Classes Commission.

However, on 5 May 2021, the Supreme Court held the Maratha reservation unconstitutional and struck down the law.

 

(With PTI inputs)

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Published: 05 Sep 2023, 09:15 AM IST
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