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Maharashtra Government Initiates Process Of Granting Kunbi Caste Certificates To Marathas

The decision came amid activist Manoj Jarange's indefinite fast for quota for the Maratha community, and incidents of violence over the demand in some parts of the state.

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Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde
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The Maharashtra government on Tuesday accepted the first report of a committee headed by retired high court judge Sandeep Shinde, appointed to decide the procedure for granting Kunbi caste certificates to the Marathas in the Marathwada region.

The process of issuance of Kunbi certificates has begun, an official statement said. The Kunbi community is eligible for reservation in the OBC category. 

The decision came amid activist Manoj Jarange's indefinite fast for quota for the Maratha community, and incidents of violence over the demand in some parts of the state.

The state cabinet, at a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, also decided that the OBC Commission will collect fresh empirical data to assess educational and social backwardness of the Maratha community. 

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

The cabinet also decided that a three-member panel headed by retired judge Dilip Bhosale and retired judges Shinde and Maroti Gaikwad would be formed to advise the government on the legal issues related to  the Maratha quota demand, it added. 

Last month, a five-member panel headed by Justice Shinde was set up to decide the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for giving Kunbi certificates to members of the Maratha community who (or whose ancestors) were referred to as Kunbis in Nizam-era documents. The Marathwada region of present-day Maharashtra was part of the Hyderabad state until 1948.

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The panel was given an extension till December 24 last week. 

Chief minister Shinde had spoken to Jarange over phone earlier in the morning and assured that a concrete decision on giving Kunbi certificates to the Maratha community would be taken at the cabinet  meeting. The activist has demanded that Kunbi certificates be given to Marathas across the state.

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