The Maratha quota protest has led to three suicides in the state in as many days, taking the total number of suicides to five. A body of a 35-year-old man was found hanging from a tree in a forest at Beed, 390 km from Mumbai, today morning. In a suicide note left behind by Abhijeet Deshmukh, he asked people not to end their struggle until the community got reservation, the police said.
“We found a suicide note in which he mentioned that he is taking this extreme step in support of Maratha reservation demand,” Beed senior police officer G Shridhar said. The note also mentioned unemployment and an unpaid bank loan as the other issues that had been bothering Mr Deshmukh.
The body of another man, a 38-year-old, was found hanging at his house in Maharashtra’s Nanded district on Sunday night. In a note that he purportedly left, the man wrote he was killing himself as a mark of protest against the Marathas not getting reservation.
The police said they are verifying the authenticity of the “suicide note” left behind by Kacharu Kalyane, a resident of Nanded’s Dhabad village, 570 km from Mumbai. His family members were out for work when he committed suicide on July 29, the police said.
On Sunday night, yet another man, a 35-year-old father of two children, wrote a farewell post on Facebook before he was found dead on train tracks in Maharashtra. Pramod Jaisinh Hore allegedly jumped in front of a moving train in Aurangabad.
He had posted a message on his Facebook page and shared a message on WhatsApp on Sunday, saying “one Maratha is leaving”, others should fight.
Including the three who killed themselves in the last two days, five people have so far committed suicide during the protest by Marathas for job quota over the last one week. Another person died when violence broke out during the protest last week, taking the total deaths to six.
The Marathas have been protesting to demand reservation in jobs and education. They had earlier taken out silent marches across the state to highlight their demands. Their latest agitation, however, took a violent turn.
Protesters set fire to vehicles and damaged public property at several places across Maharashtra last week.
Four police officers were injured in stone-throwing, while some 70 vehicles, including public buses, were damaged and some of them torched.
The opposition Congress and the NCP on Monday approached Maharashtra Governor Vidyasagar Rao and asked him to tell the Devendra Fadnavis government to announce a decision on the reservation issue immediately.
Maratha groups have said they will hold a rally in Mumbai on August 9.