Maharashtra Government Takes Steps to Address Maratha Community's Demand for Kunbi Caste Certificates
Maharashtra Government Takes Steps to Address Maratha Community's Demand for Kunbi Caste Certificates

Mumbai: The Maharashtra government has taken a significant step towards addressing the longstanding demand of the Maratha community for Kunbi caste certificates, a move that would render them eligible for reservation in the OBC (Other Backward Classes) category. This decision was made following the acceptance of the first report from a committee led by retired high court judge Sandeep Shinde. The primary task of this committee was to outline the procedure for granting Kunbi caste certificates exclusively to Marathas residing in the Marathwada region.

In an official statement, the government announced the commencement of the process of issuing Kunbi certificates, marking a crucial milestone in the ongoing pursuit of rights for the Maratha community. This decision comes amidst a protest led by activist Manoj Jarange, who had initiated an indefinite fast to advocate for quota rights for the Maratha community. In connection with this demand, several incidents of violence had erupted in various parts of the state.

During a cabinet meeting presided over by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, the government also decided to commission the OBC Commission to collect fresh empirical data. This data collection will serve to assess the educational and social disadvantages faced by the Maratha community, ultimately informing future reservation policies and provisions.

A statement from the Chief Minister's Office stated, "The first report of the Justice (retd) Sandeep Shinde committee has been submitted. The process of granting Kunbi certificates to Marathas has started."

Additionally, the cabinet has resolved to establish a three-member panel. This panel, headed by retired judge Dilip Bhosale and including retired judges Shinde and Maroti Gaikwad, will offer legal advice and guidance to the government concerning the legal aspects surrounding the Maratha quota demand.

In the previous month, a five-member panel led by Justice Shinde had been appointed to determine the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for issuing Kunbi certificates to Marathas, or their ancestors, who were historically referred to as Kunbis in Nizam-era documents. This initiative was specifically designed for Marathas in the Marathwada region, which was part of the Hyderabad state until 1948. The panel's mandate has been extended until December 24.

Earlier today, Chief Minister Shinde assured activist Manoj Jarange during a phone conversation that a concrete decision regarding the granting of Kunbi certificates to the Maratha community would be reached during the cabinet meeting. Jarange's protest has revolved around the demand for Kunbi certificates to be made available to Marathas across the entire state.



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