Mumbai: The suicide spree over the State government’s tardiness in granting reservation to the Maratha community continued after two more youths took their lives in Beed and Nanded district.
One of them, Abhijit Deshmukh (30), was an unemployed science graduate. He allegedly hanged himself from a tree outside his home in Beed. In a note, Deshmukh attributed the extreme step to three reasons: the medical expenses of his ailing relatives, mounting debt over unpaid loans and the ongoing Maratha agitation. This was confirmed by Shreedhar, the Beed SP. The police are trying to determine if Deshmukh took part in the ongoing agitation. The other reported suicide was by a 38-year-old man identified as Kacharu Kalyane who allegedly hanged himself from the ceiling of his residence in Nanded district. A suicide note said that he was ending his life over the quota demand.
Yet another student is reported to have committed suicide by plunging into a well in Aurangabad district; however, it is not certain whether the incident is linked to the Maratha stir. In another development, eight activists of the Maratha Kranti Morcha attempted mass suicide by dousing themselves with petrol near the tehsildar’s office in Latur district, adjoining Beed. However, the police rushed to the spot and, after a struggle, managed to whisk them away.
Meanwhile, the Maratha Kranti Morcha has decided to launch a ‘Jail Bharo’ protest from Wednesday. The announcement came even as Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis reiterated that the government is obliged to give reservation to the community, but it needs to complete legal and constitutional formalities, so that its stand is tenable in the Bombay High Court.
Meanwhile, Virendra Pawar, convenor of the Sakal Maratha Samaj, has said, “We will intensify our protest and court arrest. Our agitators will also sit outside the residence of legislators and Members of Parliament till August 8; then, we will hold a state-wide march on August 9 in Mumbai.” Speaking to the media, state Congress chief Ashok Chavan accused Fadnavis of running away from the Maratha agitators despite Z plus security.