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    After massive protest, Fadnavis government announces sops for Marathas

    NEW DELHI: After an overwhelming show of strength+ by the agitating Maratha community on Wednesday, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has agreed to their main demands.

    Tens of thousands of people waving saffron flags marched through Mumbai early in the day in what was the Maratha community's 58th protest
    + in a year, demanding quotas in government jobs and education, as well as justice in the brutal gang rape of a 14-year-old Maratha girl.

    The chief minister has extended all the educational concessions that Other Backward Communities (OBC) receive to the Marathas as well. There are 605 streams in which OBCs currently get concession, and this will be given to the Maratha community as well.

    The government has also offered land and announced a grant of Rs 5 crore to build hostels for students from the Maratha community in every district

    Read this story in Gujarati
    Regarding the demand for job reservation, the state government has formed a backward class commission to study the grounds on which reservation can be given to the politically active Maratha community. Fadnavis said that they will request the commission to fast track their process and submit it to the Bombay high court for considering the grounds for reservation.

    Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis met representatives from Maratha Morcha and leaders from all political parties. (ANI image)

    "The Kopardi gang rape case has been expedited. In the last five months public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam has verified 31 witnesses but the victim's lawyers has started delaying tactics," Fadnavis said.

     


    The Maratha community accounts for nearly 35 per cent of Maharashtra's 123 million people. Wearing saffron caps and carrying flags, the protesters walked down south Mumbai's JJ flyover, which was closed for vehicular traffic, winding their way to the protest venue with no speeches or slogans raised. The march has been organised by the Sakal Maratha Samaj, an umbrella organisation of several Maratha groups.

     

     

    The Maharashtra assembly also witnessed chaotic scenes with both the opposition and the ruling party MLAs storming the well of the house demanding reservation for the Maratha community.



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