Violent protests by an Indian caste demanding reserved government jobs erupted in the western state of Maharashtra on Wednesday a day after deadly demonstrations, officials said.
Protests have been mounting across the key state since Monday, when a Maratha community activist jumped to his death from a bridge in protest.
Another activist killed himself with poison on Tuesday, the same day a police officer was killed in clashes during wider protests, reports said.
More than 30,000 police have been deployed across the region but the first trouble on Wednesday blew up in the city of Thane, near Mumbai.
‘Two incidents of stone-pelting and arson were reported near Thane and we have prevented further incidents by deploying our teams,’ Sukhada Narkar, a police spokesperson in Thane said.
Maratha protests were held across the Mumbai, shutting many schools and colleges and delaying trains, officials added.
Maratha protestors have for years been pressing for more reserved jobs in the government and education. A rally by hundreds of thousands of protestors last year paralysed Mumbai.
Campaigns by groups like the Marathas in Maharashtra and Patidars in Gujarat – to back their demands for more government jobs – have claimed many lives in recent years.
Maharashtra is a key agricultural state but in recent years poor rains have led to crop failures. Many Marathas were among more than 2,500 farmers who committed suicide in the state in 2017, according to official figures.
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