Adivasis opposing the inclusion of Dhangars in ST category are likely to oppose the Gowaris’ inclusion.
Mumbai: The high court’s observation that Gowari community cannot be denied benefits of Scheduled Tribes, has created a challenge for the chief minister Devendra Fadnavis-led state government as Adivasis who have been opposing the inclusion of the Dhangar community in the ST category are likely to oppose the inclusion of Gowaris in ST category. Now the government has to convince tribals over court’s decision, sources added.
The Nagpur bench of the Bombay high court on Tuesday observed, “people of the Gowari community in Mahara-shtra cannot be denied benefits of Scheduled Tribes (ST) merely because the community is shown in the list of Special Backward Classes”.
The state government is unlikely to appeal against the high court order in the Supreme Court. After the long legal battle, the high court gave its verdict that Gowaris are tribals and entitled for reservation under the ST
Now the government has option to add Gowari community in the ST category as per high court directions or approach Supreme Court in appeal. Looking at the general elections next year the state government is unlikely to appeal as they had supported the demands of Gowaris when they were in opposition, said sources from the Bharatiya Janata Party.
The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief spokesperson Nawab Malik demanded that government should give immediate relief to the Gowaris as per directions of the high court.
The Gowaris have been seeking inclusion in the ST category for long, and a stampede during community’s protest over the issue at Nagpur on November 23, 1994 had claimed lives of 114 people and injured 500. The then Maharashtra chief minister Sharad Pawar was slammed by the opposition and due to anguish over the state tribal minister Madhukar Pichad had resigned on ethical grounds.
The Gowari community used to get 2 per cent reservation as part of Special Backward Class, however, after getting included in the ST category, the community is likely to get more benefits.
Meanwhile, Dhangar community who have been receiving benefits under NT (Nomadic tribes) category have also been demanding to be included in the ST category.
However, the tribals have raised objections and tribal minister Vishnu Savara even threatened to resign if the government supported Dhangar community’s demands.