Manoj Jarange booked for unlawful protest, 'don't test our patience', says Shinde

Jarange, who had also been staging a hunger strike, withdrew it on Monday after 17 days

File photo of Manoj Jarange (right)
File photo of Manoj Jarange (right)


Maratha quota activist Manoj Jarange has been booked in two cases after his supporters staged demonstrations without permission and blocked roads at two different locations in Beed district of Maharashtra, police said on Monday. Jarange was not present at either spot, but cases were registered against him because protesters took to the streets on his appeal, an official said.

About 80 people were booked on charges of unlawful assembly, disobedience to an order lawfully promulgated by a public servant, wrongful restraint, and section 135 of the Maharashtra Police Act.

The protests were held on Saturday at Jatnandur Phata in Shirur village and on Beed-Ahmed Nagar Road in Patoda in Beed district, where slogans were raised against the state government and roads were blocked, the official said.

On Sunday, Maharashtra chief minister Eknath Shinde had said Jarange must not test the patience of his government, after the activist levelled allegations of a serious nature against deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis at a public meeting, saying the latter was "trying to kill" him. Jarange also said an attempt to poison him was made using a saline drip, though he did not elaborate on the claim.

The demonstrations following Jarange's speech were staged without the necessary permission from authorities and in violation of prohibitory orders issued by the Beed district collector, the official said. "As the agitations were held on the appeal made by Jarange, his name is also included as an accused along with others," he added.

Jarange has been demanding the implementation of a draft notification issued by the Maharashtra government last month for issuing certificates to blood relatives of eligible Kunbi Marathas.

The Kunbi (agricultural community) falls under the Other Backward Classes (OBC) category, and Jarange's demand is that Kunbi certificates must be issued to 'sage soyre' or blood relatives of Kunbi Marathas, and a quota formed for the Maratha community under the OBC grouping.

On Sunday, he had announced that he would travel to Mumbai to press for his demands as he accused Fadnavis of blocking the implementation of the draft notification. Jarange, who had also been staging a hunger strike, withdrew it on Monday after 17 days.

Speaking to the media on the eve the Maharashtra legislature session on Sunday, Shinde said, "Those who are protesting again and again against the government must not test our patience. They should not create a law and order problem. I wonder why Jarange's speech looks like the script generally used by Sharad Pawar and Uddhav Thackeray," Shinde said.

Asked about Jarange's aggressive stance and the use of expletives in his speeches, Shinde said action would be taken as per law. It is "a conspiracy in progress" and would be exposed soon, the CM added.

Earlier, Fadnavis said the state government has a fair idea about the people behind Jarange, adding that details would emerge at an appropriate time. Asked about Jarange's announcement that he would march to Mumbai to protest in front of Fadnavis' bungalow, the deputy CM said it was his official residence and anyone with any kind of work could visit it.

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