Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, in response to the ongoing Maratha quota protests led by activist Manoj Jarange, announced the withdrawal of police cases against protesters in Jalna district and called for an end to Jarange’s hunger strike. Three police officers involved in a lathi-charge on quota demonstrators in Jalna district were also suspended.
These decisions were made following an all-party meeting in Mumbai to address the Maratha quota agitation. Jarange has been on an indefinite hunger strike since August 29, demanding Maratha community reservation in government jobs and education under the OBC category.
Chief Minister Shinde stated that the state government had instructed officials to withdraw cases against Maratha quota protesters and suspend the involved police officers. He emphasized the need for peace and harmony among all communities in Maharashtra and mentioned that a resolution passed by all parties requested Jarange to end his fast.
To address the Maratha quota issue, a five-member panel led by retired Judge Sandeep Shinde was established to determine the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for granting caste certificates to Maratha community members, historically referred to as Kunbis, under the OBC category. This initiative aims to enable Marathas from the Marathwada region to access quota benefits.
CM Shinde explained that the Justice Shinde Committee had commenced its work and required time to complete its task. He mentioned that the government had already agreed to most of Jarange’s demands and urged protesters to halt their agitation, emphasizing that Jarange was advocating for his community rather than making personal demands. Shinde also noted that resolving the quota issue would take some time.