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After Marathas, Dhangars warn of agitation if not given ST certificate, give 30-day deadline

Speaking on Monday in Pune, Dhangar community leader Uttamrao Jankar said they will hold protests from September 1 at Aurangabad.

pune Updated: Jul 31, 2018 16:39 IST
Shrinivas Deshpande
Shrinivas Deshpande
Hindustan Times, Pune
Marathas,Dhangars,agitation
From left - Prakash Khade, Gopichand Padalkar and Uttamrao Jankar at the Dhangar reservation press conference at PUWJ in Pune, India, on Monday. (Ravindra Joshi/HT PHOTO)

Pune The Dhangar (traditionally shepherds) community has now warned of an agitation if they are not granted scheduled tribe (ST) status in Maharashtra.

Speaking on Monday in Pune, Dhangar community leader Uttamrao Jankar said they will hold protests from September 1 at Aurangabad.

Dhangars currently enjoy reservation under the nomadic tribe (NT) category, which is entitled to 3.5 per cent quota. However, community members are now demanding that their caste be included in the ST category, which enjoys a 7 per cent quota.

Moreover, since the NT category is not recognised at the centre, community members feel that they have been deprived of jobs with the Union government. At the centre, the ST list includes the ‘Dhangad’ community, while the Dhangars are excluded.

“On August 1, the Dhangar community will gather at Dudhane lawns in Karvenagar, Pune and give 30 days to the government to explain who are members of the Dhangad community. After that we will start an agitation from Aurangabad on September 1,” said Jankar.

Jankar claims there is no ‘Dhangad’ community present in Maharashtra. “Dhangad has been derived from Dhangar. If state is claiming that such a community is present in Maharashtra,then they should share details about them with in one month.Otherwise we will start protest."

Gopichand Padalkar, another community member, said, “Through RTI, we have got information that no district administration in the state has issued any certificate for the Dhangad community. However, former CM Prithviraj Chavan and tribal minister Vishnu Devara have said Dhangar and Dhangad are different communities having different cultures.For this wrong information, we are going to file criminal cases against both of them."

First Published: Jul 31, 2018 16:38 IST