Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde has said the drive of tracing documents of Kunbi antecedents of Marathas, which is currently being implemented in the Marathwada region, will be carried out across the state.

This campaign should be implemented in a mission mode, Shinde directed all divisional commissioners and district collectors during a meeting held in Mumbai on Friday.

His direction a day after Maratha quota activist Manoj Jarange called off his indefinite hunger strike seeking reservation to Marathas, but vowed to lead a massive march to Mumbai if no decision was taken on the emotive issue within two months.

Speaking after the meeting, CM Shinde said, “The campaign that was implemented in the Marathwada region for searching the Kunbi records will now be extended to the entire state.”

The Justice (retired) Sandeep Shinde committee will work for the entire state, he said.

He also announced that an officer of additional chief secretary rank has been appointed for monitoring the work.

Divisional commissioners and district collectors across the state attended the meeting via video conferencing.

While taking stock of the work of tracing the Kunbi documents, the chief minister issued directions to the divisional commissioner of Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar division to conduct a workshop of divisional commissioners and district collectors in the entire state and give information about the functioning of the Shinde committee.

He directed the district magistrates to make the required information available on war footing within a month so that it becomes convenient for the Backward Class Commission to collect the empirical data of the community.

On Friday, CM Shinde also held another meeting at his official residence `Varsha`, which was attended by state chief secretary Manoj Saunik, additional chief secretary of the general administrative department Nitin Gadre, additional chief secretary of finance department Nitin Kareer, additional chief secretary of the revenue department Rajgopal Devra and secretary of the social justice department Sumanth Bhange.

The CM said the records related to Kunbi registration should be authenticated and digitalised. He said these records should be translated from Urdu and `Modi` script (which was used to write Marathi language in earlier times), and uploaded on the website.

Kunbis, a community associated with agriculture, are grouped under the Other Backward Classes (OBC) category in Maharashtra and enjoy reservation benefits in education and government jobs.

The Maharashtra cabinet last month decided that Kunbi caste certificates will be issued to those Marathas hailing from Marathwada region who possess revenue or education documents from the Nizam era that recognise them as Kunbis.

Earlier this week, the government published an order asking officials concerned to issue fresh Kunbi caste certificates to eligible Maratha community members, paving the way for them to avail reservation benefits under the OBC category.

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