The call for reservation for the Maratha community in the educational institution and government jobs in Maharashtra has picked up speed after a youth from Aurangabad died during a protest by the Maratha Kranti Morcha on Monday. The protest called ‘Jal Samadhi’ agitation took place in Aurangabad district of Maharashtra when a youth, Kakasaheb Shinde, a resident of Kaygaon village of Aurangabad jumped off to Godavari river and died.
The protestors of Maratha Kranti Morcha got violent and disturbed the traffic on the Aurangabad-Pune highway as they vandalised a bus. They also warned the state government that they will not conduct the last rites of the deceased until their demands are met. “We demand that he should be declared a ‘Martyr’, his family should be given the compensation of Rs. 50 Lakh, his brother be given a government job and action be taken against local administration. We won’t collect his body or perform his last rites until and unless our demands are met,” said a protestor to ANI.
The news of reservation demand from Maratha community was making rounds when the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis, decided to cancel his visit to Pandharpur temple on Sunday. The cancellation of such a visit attracted a lot of outrage among the Maratha community and also from the opposition. Congress party leader, Digvijaya Singh, reacted to this news on Monday while talking to Press in a press conference. “CM Fadnavis should have visited Vitthal Temple in Pandharpur on the occasion of Ashadhi Ekadashi puja. None of the ministers were there. Why are they scared? For me, visiting Pandharpur is not a political issue; it’s a personal belief,” said Digvijaya Singh, quoted ANI.
In the meanwhile, Aurangabad district magistrate, Uday Choudhary, assured of submitting the report on the matter to the state government. “Maharashtra government has accepted most of the demands of Maratha Kranti Morcha and the report for the main demand for reservation will be sent to the government shortly,” Choudhary told ANI. When asked about the compensation to the Kakasaheb Shinde, the youth who died during the protest on Monday, Choudhary said that the family of the youth will be provided with “immediate compensation of Rs. 10 lakh” and that “his brother will be offered a government job,”
After the whole episode of reservation stir by the Maratha community, the state government this time looks encircled in the bid of getting a promise in writing for the demands of the Maratha protesters. As for the latest update, the protest for the reservation in the educational institutions and government job is still igniting and this time at Gangapur tehsil of Aurangabad district. The protesters have blocked the Aurangabad-Pune highway and it has made it very onerous for the vehicles to pass through the jammed highway.
One of the protestors, Yogesh Shirke, spoke to ANI and alleged that the protestors were carrying out a peaceful protest on Monday when police provoked them to take the extreme step of suicide (Jal Samadhi). “When we came to take ‘Jal Samadhi’, the police started provoking us and challenged us to take samadhi if we actually have Maratha blood running through our veins,” he said to ANI. He also warned the state government of carrying out mass ‘samadhi’ if the Devendra Fadnavis government doesn’t agree to their 30 demands listed down by them.
(With inputs from ANI)