The pro-quota bandh called by some Maratha groups was marked by sporadic violence and arson, disruption of road traffic and rallies in various parts of Maharashtra.
The day-long agitation began on a relatively peaceful note in the morning but turned violent in the afternoon.
Marathas, a politically influential community that constitutes around 30 percent of the state’s population, have been demanding 16 percent reservation in government jobs and education.
Violence and arson was witnessed despite the appeal by the Maratha community leaders for carrying out the protests in a peaceful manner.
The Maratha groups organised the bandh despite the assurance by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis that his government was working on providing reservation in a legally sustainable manner.
Pune was one of the worst hit by the agitation, with a mob vandalising property at the district collectorate and violence being witnessed at some other places.
Authorities had ordered closure of schools and colleges and suspended internet services in Pune to prevent rumour-mongering.Plants of many companies also remained shut.
“According to my information, the main gate of the administrative building and the security cabin’s glass were damaged,” Collector Naval Kishor Ram said.
According to sources, the protesters also damaged some light bulbs in the premises.
Authorities had taken precautions to prevent any untoward incident and suspended internet services in seven tehsils of the district to check rumour-mongering.
In the evening, some miscreants resorted to stone pelting at the police in Chandni Chowk area of Pune.
“After the agitation, some anti-social elements started pelting stones at the police and even tried to block the Mumbai-Bengaluru Highway,” Shivaji Bodkhe, joint commissioner of police (law and order) of Pune police said.
“When the policemen tried to stop them from blocking the highway, they started pelting stones, prompting the police to chase them and resort to mild lathi charge in order to disperse them,” he said.
He said the police was in the process of detaining all such people who are “not agitators but miscreants”.
“The vehicular traffic on the highway has been resumed now and the situation is under control,” he said.
Chakan, an industrial hub about 40 kilometres from Pune which saw violence on 30 July during a similar agitation, remained peaceful, the police said.