Maratha activist Jarange ends hunger after meeting Shinde
- EP News Service
- Sep 14, 2023
PUNE: Maratha quota activist Manoj Jarange, who was on an indefinite hunger strike at Antarwali Sarati village in Jalna to demand reservation for the Maratha community since August 29, ended his fast on the 17th day after meeting Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, who assured the community that the government was committed to providing quota to Marathas.
Jarange ended his strike by drinking a glass of juice offered by CM Shinde a little after 11 am after he held talks with him in the presence of Shinde's ministerial colleagues and other leaders for some time and expressed happiness that this was for the first time that a chief minister has come to the site of agitation to stop someone from continuing the hunger strike.
While ending his fast, Jarange said that the community has decided to give one month's time to the state government to decide on the matter of reservation. Jarange added that if need be, they will agree to 10 more days with the government, but they will not settle without reservation for Marathas under any circumstances.
On this occasion, Shinde announced that jobs will be given to 3,700 Maratha youths who were shortlisted for government jobs after an interview before the Supreme Court scrapped the quota for the community. He also said that the fund allocation for Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj Research, Training, and Human Development Institute (SARTHI) will be increased, while the budget of Annasaheb Patil Economic Development Corporation has already been increased from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 15 lakh.
Calling the Marathas a disciplined and sensitive community, CM Shinde said that the government was very committed to restoring quotas for the Maratha community in jobs and education. Referring to the September 1 lathi charge on protesters as unfortunate, Shinde said that the incident was unfortunate.
In a bid to end Jarnage's hunger strike considering his deteriorating health, on September 1, the police first tried to shift him to a hospital; however, they were met with resistance from the protestors, and the agitation soon turned violent.
To contain the situation, the police had lathi-charged the gathering at Antarwali Sarati village, which had led to widespread protest in many parts of the state. Shinde said that action had been taken against the police officials concerned with the incident, and he assured Jarange that cases against protesters would be withdrawn.
Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar had announced a high-level inquiry into the incident, and later a few officers were suspended pending the probe.