Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has called an all-party meeting on Saturday to discuss reservation demanded by the Marathas in jobs and educational institutes.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has called an all-party meeting on Saturday to discuss reservation demanded by the Marathas in jobs and educational institutes. This comes after an agitation by the community members sparked violence in parts of the state. “The purpose of the meeting is to get the leaders of Opposition on board to find an amicable way out of the problem. Also, probable formulas to diffuse the unrest will be discussed,” said a source in the government. The meeting will take place at the Vidhan Bhavan in Mumbai.

Congress, NCP, Shiv Sena, Peasant and Workers Party, MIM and Independents will participate in the meeting. Although Maratha reservation has been listed on the agenda, various aspects related to role of the government, police, intelligence and politicians in the agitation would to be discussed, sources said. “The government has procured audio and video recordings that establishes the role of some politicians who have taken advantage of the Maratha protest,” said a BJP leader.

A source in the government said that to address the social welfare issues of the Maratha community, a committee is likely to be set up under MP Sambhaji Raje Chhatrapati, who hails from the royal Kolhapur family and MP Udayan Raje Bhosale, a member of the Satara royal family. Ahead of the all-party meeting, a cabinet sub-committee lead by Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil on Friday led a delegation to the Maharashtra State Backward Class Commission. The commission’s is working on a survey to determine the social-economical backwardness of the Maratha community. The report has to be presented before the Bombay High Court.

“We presented a memorandum to the commission requesting that the report be submitted at the earliest. The commission has received 1.87 lakh memorandums related to Maratha reservation. The government is willing to give all possible help to the commission to expedite the work,” said Patil. The Congress said providing the Marathas a quota of 16 per cent in the ongoing recruitment drive in government departments may be one way to resolve the deadlock. “The administration should also put in place a mechanism to unite the protesters under one banner. Today, splinter groups are operating under the name of Maratha Kranti Morcha, which is going out of control,” a leader said.

Youth who died identifed as Maratha protester

Navi Mumbai: The Navi Mumbai police on Friday identified a man, who had died of injuries at JJ Hospital on Thursday, as a 19-year-old Maratha youth. Rohan Todkar, a native of Satara, was assaulted while he agitating for the community’s demand for reservation in jobs and educational institutes at Koparkhairane on Wednesday. Todkar had been residing with his maternal uncle at Koparkhairane for the past couple of years. While his uncle is a loader, Todkar used to work in a mobile phone outlet. The police have identified Todkar as an agitator, who was among the three protesters beaten up by the villagers of Koparkhairane after the group allegedly set their properties ablaze.

“Policemen took the three injured men to the corporation hospital… Todkar was able to identify himself. We asked the authorities if they knew about him but they had then denied,” said an officer in Koperkhairane.

Residents alleged that police reinforcement failed to reach on time. “Had the police reached on time and stopped the protesters from setting the properties ablaze, the villagers would not have reacted violently,” said a local. The police, however, claimed that their men were stuck hardly 2 km away at the D Mart, where a group of agitators tried to set the police outpost on fire. Maintaining that they were unaware of the assault on civilian properties, a senior officer said they were busy chasing the crowd away from D Mart. “The force was focused on the roads, as the agitators had come marching from Vashi… We had no clue that they were going to attack and get attacked.”

Based on CCTV footage and statement of an complainant, the police have registered an FIR for murder and rioting against unknown persons. At Sector 15, where Todkar lived, only a few shops were open on Friday and most houses were locked up. Amid heavy police presence, groups of men of all ages were seen huddled together on the roads. None, however, said they knew a lot about Todkar. “He had come to live with his uncle’s family only a couple of years ago… He had a couple of friends who took his body to Satara for the final rites,” said a resident.

Source: Read Full Article