Maratha Quota Stir: Cases against agitators who attacked police won’t be withdrawn, says Devendra Fadnavis

Mumbai: Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Sunday took a strong stand against the Maratha protestors who had attacked the police during the bandh across the state. The CM said that such protestors will not be spared and the police cases against those will not be withdrawn. On the other hand, Maratha Kranti Morcha, while, rejecting assurance given by the CM to the Maratha delegation, has decided to hold statewide protests on August 9. It was the date on which the Maratha Kranti Morcha had started its Silent March — the first one was held in 2016 at Aurangabad.

Narayan Rane, Member of Rajya Sabha of Bharatiya Janata Party and his legislator son Nitesh met Fadnavis on Sunday at Varsha — the CM’s official residence. Rane is a self-proclaimed representative of Maratha agitators, however, the Maratha Kranti Morcha and Sakal Maratha Samaj haven’t clarified if Rane represents them and the negotiations between CM and Rane will not be bound on the agitators.

CM, while speaking with the media after the meeting, said that the cases against the protestors will be withdrawn. “The agitators are part of our society and hence the government has decided the cases registered against them in various police stations across the state will be withdrawn. The criminal charges involving attacks on police will not be withdrawn but others will be taken back. The community needs to resort to peace,” he said. “If we spare such attackers, it will not be good for the law and order situation of the state. It will send a wrong message that attackers can be release freely,” he added.

When asked about the date on which the State Backward Class Commission will submit its report to the government, Fadnavis said, “The report will be submitted within a month. Once it is received, we will discuss in the special session of the state legislature and take further action. After that the government will complete the constitutional procedure within a month,” he said. He further said, “All political parties are in favour of Maratha reservation and I have faith the House will support the proposal on Maratha reservation during special session.”

Meanwhile, The Sakal Maratha Samaj (SMS) has demanded immediate withdrawal of all cases filed against the agitators since its agitation began last year. The SMS added that if the government does not grant reservation quota to the community by August 9, then the community will launch a non-cooperation movement with Maratha community members not paying any farm tax, water tax and electricity bills in cities.

The other list of demands include Rs 50 lakh compensation to the kin of the deceased (described as martyrs) Maratha protestors, government job to one of the kin of the deceased, probe by Special Investigation Team (SIT) agai-nst officers responsible for deaths of Kakasaheb Shinde and Rohan Todkar.

Between August 1 to August 9, agitators will stage sit-in dharnas outside residences of legislators and MPs belonging to the Maratha community. The Morcha had called for a bandh in Pune on Sunday and there will be another one in Solapur on Monday. In Satara, cases of riots against more than 2500 Maratha agitators have been registered by the police.

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