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dhangarA Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed in the Bombay High Court has sought a direction to the Maharashtra government to provide reservation for dhangar (shepherd) community.

The PIL, filed by a political activist Hemant Patil last week, is expected to come up for hearing this week.

The Dhangar community is socially, educationally, economically and politically backward in the state. It is also a politically unorganised community. Traditionally, members of this community have been shepherds and thrived in the sale of wool etc. For their livelihood, said the petition.

The petition said that there have been protests all over the state for providing reservation by including the Dhangar community in the Scheduled Tribes category.

At a function at Indapur in Pune district recently, protesters threw ink on Maharashtra Cooperatives Minister Harshvardhan Patil causing minor injury to his left eye, the PIL submitted.

The petitioner, who is head of “Desh Bachao Party, a local political outfit, said that recently the state had announced 16 per cent reservation for Marathas and 5 per cent for Muslims. However, Dhangar community has been excluded.

The PIL further said that in various states of the country, this community has been given reservation but in Maharashtra they have been left out and hence a direction may be issued to the state government to provide them reservation.

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