The Maratha community will launch a ‘jail bharo andolan’ in Maharashtra on Wednesday as they intensify their agitation demanding OBC quota.
Members of the community are angry as police cases registered against them for vandalism and other offences have not been withdrawn.
“The state government, despite its assurance of withdrawing criminal charges of vandalism and damaging public property against some protesters, has not taken any action and that is why we are holding the protest Mumbai tomorrow (Wednesday),” Patil had said on Tuesday.
According to media reports, a team of 14 Maratha Kranti Morcha members will stage a protest at Azad Maidan in Mumbai. The outfit is demanding a decision on the Maratha quota at the earliest and withdrawal of cases against Maratha protesters. Among other demands, the community wants action to be taken against the officers responsible for firing and lathicharge during July 25 protest and resignation or sacking of ministers and MLAs who gave irresponsible statements against the Maratha community.
The protesters are also demanding an apology from Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis for “hurting the sentiments of the community”.
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The spate of suicides spurred by the Maratha quota agitation rose to six on Tuesday as a labourer and a student ended their lives, while eight protesters attempted suicide in Maharashtra, police said.
The 17-year-old student died after jumping into a well at Vadodbazar village in Fulambri teshil of Aurangabad district, said the police.
Pradip Hari Mhaske, who secured 75 per cent marks in the 10th standard exam, failed to secure admission in a junior college and a technical training institute in absence of any Maratha quota in these institutions, an official said.
Mhaskes suicide triggered a fresh set of protests, with Maratha community members staging a ‘rasta roko’ protest on the Aurangabad-Jalgaon road.
Abhijeet Deshmukh, 35, a farm labourer in Veeda village in Beed district in Marathwada region hanged himself from a tree near his house yesterday, police said.
Among the other reasons Deshmukh mentioned in his suicide note were unemployment and unpaid bank loan, a police official said.
“We found a suicide note in which Deshmukh mentioned that he is taking this extreme step in support of Maratha reservation demand,” Beed SP G Shridhar told PTI.
A 38-year-old man had allegedly committed suicide on July 29 in Nanded district over the Maratha quota demand, police said. Kacharu Kalyane hanged himself from the ceiling at his home in Dhabad village of Nanded district when his family members were out for some work.
His suicide note mentioned that he was ending his life over the Maratha community’s demand for reservation, a police official said.
A 35-year-old man had allegedly committed suicide by jumping in front of a moving train in Aurangabad on July 29 over the Maratha quota demand, police said.
Last week, two men in Aurangabad district committed suicide over demand for the quota, while another protester, injured in the Maratha stir violence in Navi Mumbai, died at a Mumbai hospital on July 26.
(With PTI inputs)