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Will upgrade Jarange's security if needed, says govt after claims about drone surveillance

If needed, the activist's security will be upgraded, the minister said in the assembly while responding to the concerns raised by the Leader of Opposition and senior Congress leader Vijay Wadettiwar.
Last Updated : 02 July 2024, 10:17 IST

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Mumbai: Maharashtra Minister Shambhuraj Desai on Tuesday said the government will seek a report from the Jalna police regarding claims that Maratha quota activist Manoj Jarange's village was under drone surveillance.

If needed, the activist's security will be upgraded, the minister said in the assembly while responding to the concerns raised by the Leader of Opposition and senior Congress leader Vijay Wadettiwar.

Wadettiwar alleged that Jarange's Antarwali Sarati was under drone surveillance and the government must provide security to him.

Raising the issue in the assembly, Waddetiwar claimed that the activist's life may be in danger.

Antarwali Sarati has become the epicentre for protests for reservations for the Maratha community in government jobs and education.

"Everyone has a right to protest, and if the village is under drone surveillance, it is not good. Villagers are scared," the Congress leader claimed.

Desai said the government will seek a report from the Jalna superintendent of police and take appropriate action.

"Jarange had been provided armed security earlier. If needed, the security will be upgraded," he said.

Meanwhile, villagers in Antarwali Sarati claimed to have seen a drone camera flying over the house of the village sarpanch, Kaushalyabai Tarakh, where Jarange is residing.

According to villagers, this was the second spotting in less than a week.

A video has surfaced on social media, which shows Jarange pointing at the drone.

"I have seen the drone myself. Some individuals are playing an evil trick to intimidate us, but we are not afraid. These tactics will not deter us from our struggle," Jarange says in the video.

Jarange, who suspended his indefinite fast last month, has been demanding implementation of the draft notification that recognises Kunbis as “sage soyare” (blood relatives) of Maratha community members and also seeking a law to identify Kunbis as Marathas.

Kunbi, an agrarian group, falls under the Other Backward Classes (OBC) category, and the activist has been demanding that Kunbi certificates be issued to all Marathas, thus making them eligible for quota benefits.

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Published 02 July 2024, 10:17 IST

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