State government assures to preserve SARTHI’s autonomy

ST Correspondent
Sunday, 12 January 2020

Sambhajiraje Chhatrapati said, “The strike was organised to demand reappointment of DS Parihar as its director as he was the driving force in running the institute. Also, the government should release funds for the proper functioning of the institute.”

PUNE: The State government has assured to fulfill the demands of protestors, who were demanding preservation of autonomy of the Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj Research Training and Human Development Institute (SARTHI), Pune. 
 
The Maratha Kranti Morcha (MKK) on Saturday organised a one-day hunger strike under the leadership of Rajya Sabha member Sambhajiraje Chhatrapati at SARTHI office in the city to raise their demands including preserving the autonomy of SARTHI and monthly stipend to the students on time.

In 2018, then BJP-led State government set up the SARTHI, Pune, a research institute to engage the Maratha community in research, policy advocacy, training for their socio-economic and educational development.

However, several allegations were made against the institute, including financial irregularities, after which its director DS Parihar resigned from the post.

Sambhajiraje Chhatrapati said, “The strike was organised to demand reappointment of DS Parihar as its director as he was the driving force in running the institute. Also, the government should release funds for the proper functioning of the institute.”

Sambhajiraje alleged that several secretary-level officials from the Chief Minister’s office (CMO) have been involved in paralysing the SARTHI. He demanded that the government should remove such officers from the office or hand over the institute charge to other officers.

Former MP Subodh Mohite, who extended his support to the strike, said, “The government has been trying to paralyse the SARTHI. After the launch of hunger strike, the government has sent Eknath Shinde, Minister for Urban Development in the state cabinet to meet the protesters demands.”

Shinde said, “Several allegations have been made against the institute. The government will set up an inquiry commission soon to probe the alleged financial irregularities. Also, a decision would be taken on the reappoint

ment of its former director DS Parihar. The government will release a special fund for the institute.”

Sambhajiraje Chhatrapati and other protesters ended their fast, though assurance was not given in writing.

Traffic chaos
The protest organised at the SARTHI office in Pune on Saturday caused traffic chaos on Agharkar Road. Therefore, at around noon, traffic police closed the route and diverted traffic.

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