Dhangar reservation demand: Pune’s Tribal institute vandalised; 2 youth booked
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Dhangar reservation demand: Pune’s Tribal institute vandalised; 2 youth booked

The youth smashed window panes, threw files and papers kept in cupboards and on tables, leading to panic inside the campus.

pune Updated: Aug 25, 2018 16:10 IST
Nadeem Inamdar
Nadeem Inamdar
Hindustan Times, Pune
dhangar,tribal institute,vandalism
Tribal research and training institute on Bund Garden road after it was vandalised by suspected Dhangar youth on Friday.(HT Photo)

An agitation for reservations by the economically backward Dhangar community in Maharashtra saw two youth barge into the office of the Tribal development and training institute at Bund Garden here and indulge in vandalism.

The youth smashed window panes, threw files and papers kept in cupboards and on tables, leading to panic inside the campus.

According to police, one of the youth entered the campus on the pretext of handing over a memorandum and picked up an argument with a woman officer at around 1.30 pm. He was soon joined by another youth who demanded that Dhangars be given reservations under the scheduled tribe (ST) category. The two youth fled the spot after indulging in vandalism. The staffers who shot a video of the entire episode on their camera phones, released it on social media and also made it available to the police team which arrived on the scene.

Over recent weeks, the Dhangar (traditionally shepherds) community has been warning of an agitation if they are not granted scheduled tribe (ST) status in Maharashtra. Dhangars currently enjoy job 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. Since the NT category is not recognised by the central government, community members feel that they have been deprived of jobs with the Union government.

The Central government’s ST list includes the ‘Dhangad’ community, while the Dhangars are excluded. On August 1, the Dhangar community gathered in Pune and demanded to know from the government who were included in the Dhangad community.

Over the last two months, Maharashtra witnessed widespread violence and destruction of public and private property during the Maratha agitation for reservations in jobs and education.

Following Friday’s incident, a case relating to destruction of public property was filed at Koregaon Park police station against Shekhar Bangale and another unidentified youth under 353 (Assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty ), 452 (House-trespass after preparation for hurt, assault or wrongful restraint) and 341 (Punishment for wrongful restraint).

“We have lodged an offence against Shekhar Bangale and another youth from Solapur in connection with the violence. Both the accused have kept their mobile phones switched off. We will arrest them soon,” said Koregaon Park police station incharge, Madan Bahadurpure.

First Published: Aug 25, 2018 15:30 IST