Maratha quota leaders vow to hold strong protests on August 9

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Mumbai | Published: August 8, 2018 12:26:48 AM

Maratha quota leaders said today that the community members will hold strident protests across Maharashtra on August 9 for the cause. The leaders said they have decided to suspend all communications as part of the protest.

Maratha quota, Maratha quota stir, Maratha quota protest, Maharashtra, 2014 assembly elections, indiaVinod Pokharkar has accused chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and other leaders of not keeping the quota promise. (Representative image: IE)

Maratha quota leaders said today that the community members will hold strident protests across Maharashtra on August 9 for the cause. The leaders said they have decided to suspend all communications as part of the protest. “The state government has not only failed to implement its promises made to the Maratha community before the 2014 assembly elections and in the last four years, but also delayed the procedure of withdrawing police complaints filed against the Maratha youth across the state,” said Vinod Pokharkar, a leader of the Maratha Kranti Morcha.

He accused chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and other leaders of not keeping the quota promise. Pokharkar claimed that at least 2,000 youths from the community were arrested by the local police under serious charges in the state, following the agitations held last month. “With the August 9 protest imminent, the state government ensured that hearing on the cases against the Maratha youth would take place after August 9. This means that these youths will remain behind bars till Thursday,” he alleged.

He claimed that not a single police station in districts has received the state government’s letter asking them to withdraw charges of non-serious nature against the arrested youths. Fadnavis had announced last month that the government would withdraw non-serious charges against the Maratha youths. Pokharkar alleged that Fadnavis seemed not keen to withdraw the cases. Another leader Bhaiyya Patil said meetings will be held tomorrow in some districts to chalk out the strategy for the August 9 protests.

“We will finalise the agitation plan in these meetings. We want to show the strength of the community to the government,” Patil said. The politically-influential Maratha community, constituting around 30 per cent of Maharashtra’s population, has been agitating to press their demand for reservation in jobs and education under the OBC category.

In a related development, the Bombay High Court appealed to members of the Maratha community today to refrain from resorting to violence or committing suicide over their demand for reservation in government jobs and education.

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