Owning a car is commonly seen as a personal milestone, reflecting the hard work and dedication people put into their lives to afford a four-wheeler. Yet, can you imagine a scenario where an individual decides to set their own car ablaze? In Phulambri, within the Aurangabad district, a local Sarpanch has taken a unique and unconventional route to express dissent against the government by deliberately burning his own car.
What exactly happened?
A protest demanding Maratha reservation in the vicinity of Antarvali near Jalna escalated into violence on Friday, with police resorting to baton charges to disperse the demonstrators. While the protesters asserted that the police had employed a heavy-handed lathi-charge despite their peaceful demonstration, law enforcement contended that the protesters had resorted to stone-pelting, necessitating the use of baton charges to restore order. The situation intensified into a political dispute after video footage of the police lathi-charging the protesters surfaced.
The unrest persisted on Saturday, with protesters, still agitated by Friday's lathi-charge, engaging in stone pelting, road blockades, and calls for shutdowns.
Sarpanch burns his own car in protest
Mangesh Sabale, the Sarpanch of Gevrai Payga in Phulambri taluka, sent a powerful message of protest against lathi-charge on protesters by setting his own car on fire, a vehicle he had purchased just a year ago. The video capturing this act quickly went viral on various social media platforms. Subsequently, in response to this incident, law enforcement authorities have heightened their presence at the location.
Watch the video here:
Meanwhile, even at Mahatma Phule Chowk in Phulambri, Maratha Kranti Morcha supporters staged a protest.
The issue of Maratha reservation has been a contentious one in Maharashtra for several years, with numerous peaceful protests taking place across the state. However, after police's lathi-charge on protesters in Jalna's Antarvali, the issue has once again gained momentum, with Maratha community across the state voicing their anger over the incident.
CM assures high-level probe
The incident of lathi-charge during the ongoing protest at Antarvali in Jalna district for Maratha reservation is very unfortunate, CM Eknath Shinde has said, adding that it is being investigated at a high level.
Chief Minister Eknath Shinde has emphasised the government's commitment to providing reservation to the Maratha community and has appealed to the citizens to maintain peace.
CM Shinde shared, "We have gathered information about this incident from the Collector and Superintendent of Police. I have also engaged with the leaders of this movement, urging them to call off the agitation as the authorities are actively addressing their concerns. Unfortunately, despite our efforts, the situation continued to escalate."
CM Shinde reaffirmed the government's responsibility to ensure that the Maratha community receives their rightful reservation. He expressed his commitment to delivering justice to this society and announced that a high-level inquiry will be conducted into the lathi-charge incident on the protesters.