After the Marathas, the Dhangar (shpeherd) community members in Maharashtra today staged protests seeking quota in jobs and education and blocked roads in some places during the largely peaceful agitation.
Leaders of the community, which is seeking quota under the scheduled tribes category, said the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, which is preparing a report relating to reservation for the community, must come out with it by
They warned that the protest would be intensified if the report is not submitted to the government by that date.
Led by various organisations, including the Dhangar Sangharsh Samiti Maharashtra Rajya, the community staged protests in parts of Mumbai, Western Maharashtra, North Maharashtra and Vidarbha.
Roads were blocked at some places in Ahmednagar district. Congress MLA Bhausaheb Kamble also joined the protesters in Ahmednagar district.
Members of the Dhangar community, now listed as Vimukt Jati and Nomadic Tribes, staged a sit-in protest outside the district collector's office in Kolhapur, police said.
In Vasai in Palghar district, local Dhangars staged a sit-in, while in Alibaug they took out a protest march.
Similar protests were carried out in Latur, Parbhani and Jalna districts of Marathwada region.
"The protests we staged today were peaceful. In other states, Dhangars are referred to as Dhangad. In Maharashtra, none is listed as Dhangad, but Dhangars," Rajya Sabha MP Vikas Mahatme, who represents the Dhangar Sangharsh Samiti Maharashtra Rajya, said.
"Dhangar or Dhangad, both are same. The government should treat both as one," he said.
Mahatme said his organisation has already discussed the community's issues with the government, which he said is positive on the matter. -- PTI