Maharashtra forms 20-member team to assist Maratha quota panel | Aurangabad News

Maharashtra forms 20-member team to assist Maratha quota panel | Aurangabad News

CHHATRAPATI SAMBHAJINAGAR: The state government has formed a 20-member team to assist the panel headed by retired Justice Sandeep Shinde to meet the demand of recognising Maratha community as Kunbi and grant them OBC certificates.
The team includes officials of a deputy secretary and under-secretary rank. Deputy secretary (home) Vijay Powar, under secretary (finance) Rasik Khadse and under secretary (civil supplies) Pooja Mankar are among those appointed on the team. The state has issued a resolution granting the team a month’s time to carry out the work. The appointment of the staff is till the completion of the given assignment.
The resolution states that the work has to be done on a priority. In addition, another resolution states that an office space on the seventh floor of the state secretariat, which is meant for a minister of state, has also been provided to the committee.
The formation of the committee is the result of the indefinite hunger strike by Maratha reservation activist Manoj Jarange, who on September 14 ended his agitation in the presence of chief minister Eknath Shinde and other ministers. He had been on the hunger strike for 17 days at Antarwali Sarati village in Ambad taluka of Jalna district demanding quota for Marathas in jobs and education.
Jarange’s primary demand was issuance of Kunbi caste certificates to all members of the Maratha community, irrespective of the regions they are from. On September 7, the state government issued a resolution stating that Kunbi caste certificates will be issued to all Marathas from the Marathwada region who possess the Nizam-era documents such as revenue, educational and other supporting records, and if ‘Kunbi’ is mentioned in their genealogy. However, the resolution was not acceptable to Jarange and his supporters.
To break the ice, the state publicly announced formation of a committee under retired Justice Sandeep Shinde and granted it a month to come up with a standard operating procedure for meeting the quota demand.
While announcing the withdrawal of this stir, Jarange had set five key conditions before the state government. Among the demands was suspension of the police officers, who ordered the lathicharge on the “peaceful” protesters at Antarwali Sarati on September 1. His hunger strike took a violent turn on that day when police used force to disperse a crowd. Jarange also demanded withdrawal of cases against the Maratha quota supporters during the violence and agitations at places across the state to protest the lathicharge.
The state has suspended Jalna additional SP Rahul Khade, Ambad sub-divisional police officer Mukund Aghav and Gondi police station in-charge assistant inspector Pradip Ekshinge besides sending Jalna SP Tushar Doshi on a forced leave in connection with the lathicharge.

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