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After K'taka, Lingayats in Maharashtra demands minority status




After K'taka, Lingayats in Maharashtra demands minority status

The All India Lingayat Coordination Committee carried out a protest rally outside the Divisional Commissioner's office in Maharashtra's Aurangabad on Sunday demanding a constitutional recognition for Lingayat community. It further demanded that the Lingayat community should nationally be recognized as a religious minority group. The Mahamorcha led by Shivling Shivacharya Maharaj, 103-year-old, saw the attendance of several spiritual gurus from the Lingayat community and leaders from several other states.

"As long as the government doesn't grant the Lingayat an independent religion status till then morchas (rallies) such as these would continue," said Shivling Shivacharya Maharaj. The spiritual guru went on to say that Lingayat religion is one of the oldest religions and there are around four crores followers in Maharashtra. Seeking the support of people, he mentioned that the fight for recognition must go on. National convener of Lingayat Coordination Committee, Avinash Bhosikar, along with Pradip Burande District Co-Ordination convener, Dyneshwar Kharde Appa city chief among others political parties leaders also participated in the morcha.

Later in the day, the delegation submitted their memorandum to the Divisional Commissioner, Dr Purushotam Bhapakar. A seven-member Nagamohan Das committee headed by retired high court Judge H N Nagamohan Das submitted its report on March 2, 2018, stating that "Lingayats in Karnataka may be considered as a religious minority." Earlier on March 23, Avinash Bhosikar, said the Maharashtra government should send in their recommendation, for the constitutional recognition of Lingayat to the central government on the lines of Karnataka government. Recently, the Karnataka Government granted a separate religion status to the Lingayat community in the state.

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