In contrast to the fury and chaos of the recent Maratha quota protests, a day-long, State-wide agitation on Monday called by the Dhangar (shepherd) community demanding inclusion into the list of Scheduled Tribes (STs) passed off without incident.Barring traffic snarls at several places in Nagpur, Marathwada and parts of north Maharashtra, the agitation was largely peaceful, said police sources.However, Dhangar community leaders across the State warned of intensifying the agitation in the first week of September unless the Devendra Fadnavis government took a concrete step to resolve the long-pending issue. The agitation, under the banner of the Dhangar Sangharsh Samiti Maharashtra Rajya, received an enthusiastic response in Aurangabad, Nagpur, Solapur, Nanded and Jalgaon.“The Chief Minister has been putting us off with assurances. A meeting with him was held on August 10 and while the discussions were positive, he failed to clarify in how many days the State government would award the ST reservation to the community,” said Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s Rajya Sabha MP, Dr. Vikas Mahatme, who staged a ‘chakka jam’ in Nagpur with several protestors. Dr. Mahatme, an ophthalmologist and Padma Shri recipient, had spearheaded the agitation before the BJP came to power in 2014. He, along with 25 agitators, was briefly detained by the Nagpur police.In Sangli’s Atpadi Taluk, bus services were suspended in the wake of the agitation, while in Kolhapur, a meeting of Dhangar community leaders condemned the BJP government for hoodwinking the community with false promises. “Since 2015, the BJP-ruled government has been assuring us of granting reservation. But after four years in power, they seem to have no intention in fulfilling their pre-election promise,” said a leader at the meeting. Earlier in the day, protesters burnt tyres and blocked the Jalna-Auranagabad road for several hours, holding up traffic. Likewise, the Nagpur-Wardha road was jammed for a while as agitators demonstrated with sheep and goats along the Ahmednagar-Manmad road.In Jalgaon, peaceful protests commenced at several areas in the district.Speaking in Ahmednagar, senior BJP leader Eknath Khadse, too, urged the State to expedite the process of including the Dhangar community in the ST list.The community, currently included in the Vimukta Jati and Nomadic Tribes category, is seeking a higher quota in the ST list.Dhangar leaders in Maharashtra contend that while their brethren, called ‘Dhangad’ in other parts of the country are availing of ST benefits, those in the State are denied these owing to a long-standing typographical error on the name.On Sunday, a youth in Parbhani district had allegedly committed suicide over the delay in granting reservation to the community, which has demanded that the BJP government fulfil its poll promise to include them in the ST category.Before the 2014 Assembly election, the BJP had lured some leaders from the community with promises of reservation. After the poll, it had inducted Mahadev Jankar, a prominent Dhangar leader and chief of the Rashtriya Samaj Paksha (RSP) and minor BJP ally, into the State cabinet as a sop to the community.It had also commissioned the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) to make a study on the backwardness of the community.Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) too had jumped into the fray to win the hearts and minds of the community by expressing support for the contentious Dhangar reservation issue. Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh (BBM) chief Prakash Ambedkar, too, held a rally in Pandharpur in May this year in a bid to reach out to the community.
Four men were killed and several injured in North 24 Paraganas district of West Bengal in clashes between BJP and Trinamool workers on Saturday night. Three of the dead were BJP workers, while the other was a Trinamool member. The deceased were identified as Sukanta Mandal, Pradip Mandal and Tapan Mandal of the BJP and Kayum Mollah of the Trinamool.The parties blamed each other for the violence at Bhangipara of Sandeshkhali block, about 80 kilometres south of Kolkata.According to a post by BJP, at least 18 of their supporters are missing. The BJP said Trinamool cadre attacked their activists following a scuffle over removal of saffron flags. “They opened fire indiscriminately killing three of our cadres. Kayum Mollah was shot by Trinamool activists only,” said Sayantan Basu, a BJP leader.However, Trinamool leaders said armed BJP activists had attacked their members and killed Mollah.“Kayum Mollah was hacked to death by BJP. He was shot too. BJP bringing outsiders to attack us,” said TMC leader Jyotipriya Mullick.Reportedly, TMC cadres attacked BJP activists in retaliation. However, police administration has not issued any statement.Trouble was brewing in Sandeshkhali, albeit in a different area, over last few days as a senior Government official was beaten up. Incidents of sporadic violence was reported.Leaders of both parties are expected to visit Sandeshkhali on Saturday which may trigger more commotion.
Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew ANTIPOLO, Philippines—Winning three straight games wasn’t enough momentum for Magnolia to dispense Rain or Shine in the semifinals of the PBA Philippine Cup.ADVERTISEMENT Always ready to get his number called, Nambatac helps save Rain or Shine from elimination LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Philippine Arena Interchange inaugurated View comments Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess In what could’ve been the Hotshots’ closeout game, the Elasto Painters instead took a convincing 91-81 win and forced a Game 7 on Sunday.Hotshots head coach Chito Victolero said Rain or Shine simply wanted it more than them especially in a fourth quarter that started off in a level playing field.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logistics“They outworked us, they were more aggressive than us, they wanted it more than us,” said Victolero Friday at Ynares Center here. “It’s a good thing there’s a Game 7 so we’ll just try to watch film and look for what we can do better. We’ll be ready by Sunday.”Rain or Shine and Magnolia were tied in heading into the fourth quarter until the Elasto Painters slowly pulled away taking a 75-69 lead off of Rey Nambatac’s three-pointer with 7:14 to play. Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles Duterte wants probe of SEA Games mess SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte MOST READ Nambatac then buried the Hotshots with two straight long bombs for Rain or Shine’s 83-71 lead with 3:57 remaining in the fourth.Victolero said the key to a Game 7 victory won’t rely much on the team’s adjustments but on the players’ desire to advance to a second straight finals appearance after winning the Governors’ Cup in December of 2018.“We just have to make minor adjustments, but basically it’s all about the will and the desire of the players,” said Victolero.ADVERTISEMENT Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Hontiveros presses for security audit of national power grid