Maratha quota row: Latur youth attempts self-immolation; Shiv Sena seeks reservation for Dhangars and Kolis

Maratha outfits had warned that if their demands are not met, they will organise a mega rally in Mumbai on August 9.

Maratha quota row: Latur youth attempts self-immolation; Shiv Sena seeks reservation for Dhangars and Kolis
File photo (PTI)

MUMBAI: A man associated with the Maratha Kranti Morcha - the outfit which has been spearheading the agitation over quota for Marathas – attempted to end his life in Maharashtra's Latur, adding more fuel to the ongoing agitation over the issue.

According to reports, the man, who has not been identified as yet, attempted to immolate himself in the presence of hundreds of Maratha Kranti Morcha activists in the Oasa Tehsil in Maharashtra's Latur district on Tuesday.

The police personnel deployed there immediately rushed to stop the man from immolating himself and took him to a nearby hospital for treatment.

Sensing the situation, the district collector of Latur came out to pacify the agitating Maratha Kranti activists who agreed to call off their agitation outside the collectorate following the officer's assurance.

In a related incident, a 35-year-old man allegedly ended his life in Maharashtra's Beed district – the fifth death reported due to the ongoing stir over the Maratha quota

According to Beed police, the man was identified as Abhijeet Deshmukh, a resident of Veeda village in Kej Tehsil.

Deshmukh ended his life by hanging himself from a tree near his house, the police said.

The police also found a suicide note in which he had stated that he was taking this extreme step in support of Maratha reservation demand.

The man also mentioned unemployment and unpaid bank loan as other factors which pushed him to take the extreme step, G Shridhar, the Beed SP, said.

This was the fifth suicide in the state over Maratha reservation issue, the Beed SP confirmed.

Kacharu Kalyane, a 38-year-old man had allegedly committed suicide on July 29 in Nanded district over the Maratha quota demand.

Kalyane's body was found hanging from the ceiling at his home in Dhabad village of Nanded, around 570 km from Mumbai, 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, according to the Nanded police.

Meanwhile, BJP's estranged ally Shiv Sena on Tuesday demanded reservation to Marathas, Dhangars and Kolis.

Making an appeal to the Maharashtra government, the Uddhav Thackeray-led party said that denying quote to Marathas, Dhangars and Kolis would make it a "banana republic".

''Once the state government concedes to the demand for Maratha community, others will come out on streets and a new problem will crop up,'' the party said in an editorial in its mouthpiece 'Saamana'.

"Hence the government should take a decision on demands of all communities simultaneously. The BJP had, in any case, promised reservation to Dhangars before elections," the Marathi publication said.

If all these communities come out on streets and demand reservation one by one, Maharashtra will, in no time, become a "banana republic," the Saamana editorial said.

The party stated that the state government should unanimously pass the resolution of giving reservation to Marathas, Dhangars (shepherd) and Kolis (fisher-folk) and send it to the Centre for approval, else the state will have to suffer.

The politically influential Maratha community, constituting around 30 per cent of the state's population, has been agitating to press its demand for reservation in jobs and education.

The politically influential Maratha community, which constitutes around 30 percent of the state's total population, has been on agitating to press for its demand for reservation in government jobs and education.

The community had earlier taken out silent marches across the state to highlight their demands, prominently for reservation.

Opposition parties including Congress and the NCP have approached state's Governor Vidyasagar Rao and urged him to direct the Devendra Fadnavis government to announce a decision on the reservation issue immediately.

Maratha outfits had warned that if their demands are not met, they will organise a mega rally in Mumbai on August 9.

(With Agency inputs) 

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