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HC seeks government reply on PIL to stop activist from holding protest

The Bombay High Court asked the Maharashtra government to file its reply on a PIL, which sought to restrain or ban an activist from staging a protest along with his followers at the Assembly building on August 1 to seek reservation for Dhangar (shepherd) community.

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A bench headed by Justice Shantunu Khemkar asked the state government to file its response by July 29 when the PIL would come up for hearing.

The PIL said that activist Hemant Patil had already published and advertised his protest by way of pamphlets, posters and banners. “If the said protest is not restrained or banned, there is likelihood of deterioration in law and order situation in Mumbai as well as all over Maharashtra,” it said.

A similar law and order situation has arisen in Gujarat on the issue of reservation of Patidar community led by Hardik Patel, it said.

In the protest, there was business loss to the tune of crores of rupees and damage to public and private property, it said.

“If such type of situation arises in Mumbai due to the proposed protest of activist Hemant Patil on Dhangar community reservation issue on August 1, there could be law and order problem in the state,” the PIL said.

The plea sought a direction to the state government, Chief Secretary (Home) and Police Commissioner of Mumbai to restraint Patil and his followers from staging their protest at the Assembly building, demanding reservation for Dhangar community.

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