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Maharashtra: VBA protests outside Vidhan Bhavan over OBC quota issue

The morcha was led by VBA chief Prakash Ambedkar who demand-ed proper collation of empirical date on OBC population the state.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
Updated: December 24, 2021 9:14:30 am
Police detain members of the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi. (Express Photo by Yogesh Naik)

Members of the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) took out a flash morcha outside the Vidhan Bhavan on Thursday in protest against the Supreme Court’s recent ruling that struck down 27 per cent quota for OBCs in the local body polls. The morcha was led by VBA chief Prakash Ambedkar who demand-ed proper collation of empirical date on OBC population the state.

The police were taken by complete surprise. When the police started nabbing them, the protesters escaped to a nearby mall and even compounds of neighbourhood buildings.

Additional Commissioner of police (south) Dilip Sawant said, “They assembled in groups of five and ten and stood on the sides. We had kept bandobast, but can’t stop everyone. We took over 60 people in custody and brought them to Azad Maidan police station.” A top IPS officer said there was complete failure of
intelligence.

The protesters also demanded proper collation of empirical data of OBCs. The state government should bring in a legislation in the ongoing winter session to facilitate introduction of a caste column in the population census so that authentic data on OBCs can be collected, Ambedkar said.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Ambedkar said, “The rally is not limited to restoration of OBC quota in local body polls. Our objective is to make people aware of the larger issues which have threatened the OBC community.”

He said for the community to get reservation, there has to caste wise census. He said, “The Centre, in its affidavit to the Supreme Court, has already stated it was not going to conduct a caste wise census in 2022.”

“With the winter session underway, the state government and the Opposition can work together to bring in a legislation incorporating a column for caste census in population census form. Nothing stops the state government from carrying out this exercise.” the VBA president argued.

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