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Marathas celebrate in Mumbai as Maharashtra government agrees to Manoj Jarange Patil's demands; protest ends

Manoj Jarange Patil, leader of the Maratha quota protest, ended his hunger strike in Mumbai after the Maharashtra government accepted all demands related to reservations in education and jobs for the Maratha community under the Other Backward Classes (OBC) category.

Marathas celebrate in Mumbai as Maharashtra government agrees to Manoj Jarange Patil's demands; protest ends
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First Published Jan 27, 2024, 10:46 AM IST

Manoj Jarange Patil, the leader of the Maratha quota protest, concluded his hunger strike on Saturday after the Maharashtra government acceded to all his demands. Patil, who initiated the hunger strike in Mumbai on the previous day, was advocating for reservation in education and jobs for the Maratha community under the Other Backward Classes (OBC) category.

Patil's demands included the issuance of Kunbi certificates for all Marathas, the provision of free education from kindergarten to postgraduate levels, and reserved seats for Marathas in government job recruitments.

Providing an update on the progress, Patil revealed that 37 lakh Kunbi certificates have already been distributed, with the number set to reach 50 lakh. The term "Kunbi" refers to the Other Backward Classes (OBC) category.

The 40-year-old leader had issued a stern warning of a massive protest at Mumbai's Azad Maidan if the government failed to meet their demands. Patil stated, "If the government does not agree, then we will show what we can do."

Following negotiations with two Maharashtra ministers on Friday night, the government reportedly accepted all the demands put forth by the protesters. Chief Minister Eknath Shinde was present at the protest site.

In response to the resolution, Patil has organized a victory march scheduled for later today in Vashi. The Maratha community's persistent demand for reservation has been a central point of discussions between community leaders and the state government.

The Supreme Court had, on May 5, 2021, invalidated reservations for the Maratha community in colleges, higher educational institutions, and jobs, citing a lack of valid grounds to breach the 50% reservation limit while granting Maratha reservations.

The Eknath Shinde government has agreed to six demands raised by the protesters, including the issuance of caste certificates as per the family register for 54 lakh people of the Maratha community, matching genealogy records, the extension of the Shinde Committee's tenure, and withdrawal of cases registered during the Maratha movement.

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