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Baton-charge on protesting hearing-impaired youth in Maha

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Press Trust of India Pune
Several hearing-impaired youth who were staging a demonstration here for their pending demands were injured when police allegedly used baton-charge, some of the protesters said.
Police said "mild force" was used to restrain the protesters, who had broken through barricades.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis sought a report from police on the incident, after opposition leaders targeted the BJP-led government over the alleged baton-charge.
"When the government has no response on education opportunities and job creation for questions raised by The differently abled, the answer is a lathi charge? And that too during a peaceful march? CM who is the home minister must answer....is this the arrogance of power," NCP leader Supriya Sule said.
The youth were demanding right to quality education, provision of trained interpreters for deaf students and preventing fraudulent distribution of disability certificates to able-bodied individuals among others.
Over 11,000 hearing-impaired youth had assembled at the Social Welfare Commissionerate here when the incident happened, Pradip More, secretary, State Level Association of the Deaf, told reporters using an interpreter.
More said over 18 lakh hearing-impaired youth in the state have decided not to vote in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections till they get an assurance from authorities that their demands would be met.
Fadnavis Monday night sought a report from Pune police commissioner, an official said in Mumbai.
"Fadnavis has sought a detailed report from the Pune commissioner of police about the alleged baton-charge on the divyang march," the official said, adding the CM also asked his cabinet colleague Dilip Kamble to look into the issue.
Kamble, who hails from Pune, is the Minister of State for Social Justice.
A police official said the youth tried to take out a rally and block the road despite having permission only for a sit-in protest. "We used mild force on them to bring the situation under control," he added.
Leader of Opposition in Maharashtra Legislative Assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil of the Congress slammed the police action and said the BJP-led government should apologise to the protesters and accept all their demands.
Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Council Dhananjay Munde demanded the chief minister's resignation over the alleged baton-charge incident.
MNS chief Raj Thackeray said the government will have to bear the "curse" of the protesters.
Meanwhile, the protesters continued their agitation and refused to budge till their demands are met.
"As the agitators blocked roads and disrupted traffic, police used a little force to bring the situation under control. However, the allegations of a 'full' baton-charge are not correct," the police officer said.
The protesters said issuance of disability certificates to persons without disabilities be stopped immediately, and those who secured government jobs under deaf quota through fraudulent means be asked to appear for re- examination.

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First Published: Feb 25 2019 | 11:20 PM IST

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