Maharashtra: Maratha Activist Dies By Suicide At Mumbai’s BKC; Onus Lies On Govt, Says Jarange Patil

Maharashtra: Maratha Activist Dies By Suicide At Mumbai’s BKC; Onus Lies On Govt, Says Jarange Patil

Putting the onus of the suicide on the state government, Manoj Jarange-Patil, who is currently in Mumbai, asked "how many more dead bodies does the government want to grant the Maratha community its right?"

Abhijit Mulye Megha KuchikUpdated: Thursday, October 19, 2023, 09:02 PM IST
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Manoj Jarange-Patil | X

Mumbai: Pro-Maratha reservation activist Sunil Kawale (45) committed suicide by hanging himself to a street light pole in BKC area of suburban Mumbai in early hours of Thursday.

Putting the onus of the suicide on the state government, Manoj Jarange-Patil, who is currently in Mumbai, asked "how many more dead bodies does the government want to grant the Maratha community its right?"

"Sunil Kawale was found hanging from a light pole, and the police quickly rushed him to Sion hospital. A case has been registered under IPC section 174 (unnatural death or death under suspicious circumstances) and investigation is on," said Rajendra Mulik, Senior Police Inspector of Kherwadi police station.

Kawale found hanging at light pole no. 4 at BKC 

Kawale, who hails from Chikangaon village of Ambad Taluka in Jalna district, ended his life by hanging himself with a thick nylon rope at light pole no. 4 at the BKC connector flyover on the Western Express Highway in Bandra East between 12.30 to 1 am. Police rushed him to Sion hospital where he was declared dead at 1.38 am. His body was later sent for a post mortem.

Suicide note

A suicide note and a mobile was found in his bag lying near him. 

"The Maratha community will get reservation on October 24. We should gather and should focus only on Maratha reservation," he mentioned in the note while appealing Maratha community members to gather in Mumbai in large numbers.

"If we sit on hunger strike for reservation for four-five days, nobody dies. Every-body can spare 4-5 days for the cause. So all should come to Mumbai on October 24," he urged in the note.

He also apologized to everyone stating that he took the decision he deemed right for the community. He also wrote on his shirt that he was ending his life for the cause of Maratha reservation.

"My father was fearless. He was fighting for Maratha reservation for the last few years. I came to know about his suicide from his mobile phone status and then we came to the (Sion) hospital," Kawale's son Nagesh said. He also said that his father has laid life for the cause of Maratha reservation and that his "martyrdom must not go in vain".

An auto-rickshaw driver who quit his previous private job to join Maratha agitation, Kawle was an active member of the Maratha Kranti Morcha, which has been seeking quota for the community, and had attended all 58 rallies organised over this demand. He had come to Mumbai alone and had wrote his suicide note in the form of a letter to Maratha quota activist Manoj Jarange-Patil.

When he learnt about Kawle's suicide, Jarange-Patil said, "Kawle was like a family. He committed suicide because of the government. I don't know how many more deaths does this government want?"

Agitation after October 24 will cost the government very dearly: Patil

"The government should decide on the demands quickly at least now. They should not let the martyrdom go in vain. Government should decide quickly on reservation. Else, the agitation after October 24 will cost the government very dearly,"  Jarange-Patil said while reacting to Kawle's suicide.

However, later, in an interview given to a regional news channel, Jarange-Patil said that the Maratha community shall continue the agitation for reservation in a peaceful manner.

"We have given an ultimatum to the government. The limit ends on the 24th. But, I don't think that the government will stretch it till then. They won't afford to disharten such a major community," he said.

He also advised the state government to stop the working of the Justice Shinde committee appointed by the state government on the issue, and come up with a legislation granting reservation to the community, in another interview.

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