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After violence, Marathas turn to non-cooperation

Groups tell citizens not to pay utility bills, taxes from Wednesday onwards until their demands are met, also plan road blockades, sit-ins outside lawmakers’ houses.

mumbai Updated: Jul 30, 2018 10:53 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Maharashtra,Marathas
Protesters blocked trains at Thane station during the bandh last week, on July 25. (HT Photo)

Upping the ante by launching a non-cooperation movement from Wednesday, Maratha outfits have decided to not pay utility bills and taxes until the government accedes to their demand for reservations in jobs and education.

The decision was taken after the state coordination committee representing Maratha outfits from 22 districts met at Lathur in the Marathwada region on Sunday. The Maratha Kranti Morcha, the umbrella body of various community outfits, said it will resume the protest under the name of Maratha Kranti Janandolan from Wednesday. The non-cooperation movement will be part of the Maratha Kranti Janandolan.

Marathas will stage sit-ins outside the residences of MLAs and MPs from August 1 to 9, and hold road blockades on August 9, marked as August Kranti Diwas.

“We passed nine resolutions in the meeting. There will be no deliberation or dialogue with the state government anymore as it knows about our demands. Instead of the discussion, it should come with the concrete plan on how to implement our demands. Besides the withdrawal of all criminal cases registered against community members, we demand ₹50 lakh in compensation to the families of two youths, who died during protests, and jobs to their family members,” said Shantaram Kunjir, one of the coordination committee members. Maratha leaders claimed that most criminal cases are false.

Meanwhile, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis also held a meeting with a few Maratha leaders headed by former chief minister Narayan Rane on Sunday. He reiterated that his government will withdraw cases, except serious ones, registered against protesters and hold a special session of the state legislature to discuss the reservation demand.

“I have made it clear that the government is positive about all demands, and we are taking steps to fulfil them. We have decided to withdraw all cases, except the serious ones, against Maratha protesters. If those (serious) cases are withdrawn, it will send a wrong message,” Fadnavis said. Fadnavis again said the government will keep aside 16% of the 72,000 jobs, planned to be filled in the near future, for Maratha candidates.

Maratha Kranti Morcha said the delegation that met Fadnavis on Sunday does not represent the community. Meanwhile, the Congress, NCP and Shiv Sena will hold separate meetings to chart their strategy over the Maratha agitation.

The NCP and Congress will later meet the Maharashtra State Commission for Backward Class and ask it to expedite the submission of its report on community’s socio-economic status.

First Published: Jul 30, 2018 10:53 IST