New Delhi: The Maharashtra Cabinet on Sunday approved reservation to Marathas for which the community has been protesting since 2017, demanding quota in government jobs and in admissions in academic institution. It has been reported that the state government will create a new category called SEBC (socially and economically backward) as per the recommendation of the Maharashtra State Backward Class Commission, under which the community would be provided the quota.

The commission had submitted its report to Chief Secretary DK Jain on Thursday suggesting a 16 percent reservation for the Marathas, stating that the community is socially and economically backward.

A couple of days ago Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had said that Maratha community would get the reservation in the government jobs and in admissions in academic institutions from December 1. “We will complete all legal formalities in the month of November itself and the Maratha reservation will be announced soon. I request everyone to stop protesting and celebrate on December 1,” Fadnavis had said while addressing a rally in Ahmednagar.

In September, the state government had apprised the Bombay High Court that the Maharashtra State Backward Class Commission was likely to submit its report on social and economic conditions of the Maratha community by 15 November.

On August 9, as many as 194 people were detained by the Pune Police for rioting and arson after a protest, seeking the reservation for the Maratha community, turned violent.

The Maratha community, which accounts for 33 percent of the state’s total population, has been agitating since 2017 demanding reservation in government jobs and educational institutions. The community members also sought a waiver of farmer loans, justice in the Kopardi rape case of 2016, and a permanent solution to the growing unemployment in the state.

In 2014, the then Congress-NCP government had announced 16 percent reservation for Marathas and five percent reservation for the Muslims. However, the Bombay High Court stayed the decision after a PIL was filed against the announcement.