Dhangar rally for ST status turns violent in Maha
November 21, 2023  21:00
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File image
A morcha (demonstration) organised by the Dhangar community to demand inclusion in the Scheduled Tribe category turned violent as protesters vandalised government property and two-wheelers at the collector's office in Maharashtra's Jalna city on Tuesday, the police said. 

The march turned violent after the protesters insisted on meeting the district collector to submit a memorandum in support of their demands. 

There was no report of any casualty. 

The morcha, which started from Mahatma Gandhi Chaman and proceeded to the district collectorate in Jalna city, initially began as a peaceful gathering. Community leaders addressed the crowd, expressing an urgent need for the Dhangar community to be recognised as a Scheduled Tribe, enabling them to avail reservation benefits in government jobs and education under the ST category. 

The situation took a tense turn when protesters attempted to submit the memorandum to the district collector. Administration officials and police informed the demonstrators that senior officers were busy in a meeting, prompting tehsildar (revenue department official) Chhayya Pawar to come forward to listen to their demand and accept the memorandum. 

However, the protesters insisted on handing over the memorandum directly to the district collector. 

They pointed out that Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and his cabinet colleagues had visited the protest site (Antarwali Sarati village in Jalna district) for Maratha reservation led by activist Manoj Jarange, questioning why the collector did not come to address their concerns. 

Efforts to break the deadlock led to the involvement of resident deputy collector Keshav Netke and sub-divisional officer Shrimant Harkal, but there was no resolution. -- PTI
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