Mumbai: A lawyer attempted self-immolation at the Jalna district collectorate on Friday, in support of Maratha reservation. The lawyer, Maruti Bhausaheb Wadekar, poured diesel on himself while shouting slogans in favour of the community and Manoj Jarange-Patil, the face of the agitation, whose life he claimed is in danger.
Wadekar said, “Jarange-Patil has been on fast for the past 11 days. The police have filed cases against women and kids from our community. They hit women and old people on their heads. Hence cases need to be filed against the police as well. The administration needs to pursue Jarange-Patil to withdraw his agitation at the earliest. We shall keep the protest on. If anything happens to Jarange-Patil, the whole Maharashtra will burn.”
Jarange-Patil addresses media
After Wadekar’s suicide attempt, Jarange-Patil addressed the media and appealed to the Maratha community to exercise restraint while conducting agitations to push for the community’s demands. He said, “The agitation has received support from the entire community, increasing the chances of our demands being met. The community should, however, exercise restraint. The agitation has been largely peaceful and we shouldn’t do anything that would bring it a bad name.”
He asked, “If youngsters start committing suicide, who will take the benefit of the reservation?”, appealing that leaders should not resort to violent agitations as that would attract police cases and would adversely affect the future of students in the community.
Meanwhile, four women in Beed district partially buried themselves in the ground to lend support to the agitation. They shouted slogans for the demand that all members of the Maratha community be given Kunbi certificates without discrimination.