Maratha quota stir: 1,000 cops to be deployed in Kolhapur ahead of statewide agitation

PTIUpdated: Wednesday, June 16, 2021, 09:38 AM IST
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The Kolhapur police have made adequate arrangement in view of a statewide agitation demanding reservation for the Maratha community in Maharashtra beginning on Wednesday, an official said on Tuesday.

The agitation will be launched from Kolhapur city, around 230km from Pune. To press for Maratha quota, BJP Rajya Sabha MP Sambhajiraje Chhatrapati has given a call for a silent sit-in agitation at a memorial of Chhatrapati Sahu Maharaj in Kolhapur.

Last month, the Supreme Court struck down the 2018 Maharashtra law granting quota to Marathas in admissions and government jobs, terming it as "unconstitutional", and held there were no exceptional circumstances to breach the 50 per cent reservation cap set by the 1992 Mandal verdict.

"Around 1,000 police personnel, including senior officials, will be deployed. There will be nakabandis (road blockade) in the city and instructions have been given to organisers to follow COVID-19-appropriate behavior during the agitation," said Shailesh Balkawde, Superintendent of Police, Kolhapur.

The COVID-19 positivity rate in Kolhapur district is high and a couple of days ago, deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar and health minister Rajesh Tope reviewed the situation.

Asked about expected turnout of people for the agitation, the senior official said it is difficult to put a number, but the police have made adequate arrangement to maintain law and order. Balkawde said he has spoken to Sambhajiraje Chhatrapati about the overall arrangement in view of the agitation.

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