Maratha activist Manoj Jarange-Patil calls off hunger strike

Jalna, Sep 14 (UNI) Maratha reservation activist Manoj Jarange-Patil on Thursday called off his indefinite hunger strike after Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde met him and articulated his commitment to providing reservation to the Maratha community.

Jarange-Patil, who was on a hunger strike for 17 days in Antarwali Sarati village of Jalna district demanding reservation for the Maratha community, called it off by drinking a glass of juice from Shinde’s hands.

Earlier, Shinde, accompanied by union minister of state for railways Raosaheb Patil Danve and several of his state cabinet colleagues and people’s representatives reached Antarwali Sarati and requested Jarange-Patil to withdraw his hunger strike.

After a 15-minute open discussion, the activist agreed to withdraw his hunger strike.

Jarange-Patil later said he called off his hunger strike after the chief minister’s positive commitment to provide reservations to the Maratha community.

Praising Shinde, he said the Chief Minister was capable of taking tough decisions. The activist promised the Maratha community that he would fight honestly for them so that they get reservation.

“I will not keep quiet until the Maratha community gets permanent reservation,” he said.

Jarange Patil also appealed to the Maratha community not to take law and order into their hands and continue their agitation democratically and peacefully.

Shinde said his government is committed to providing permanent reservations to the Maratha community without hurting other groups.

Talking to media persons, Shinde said it is his government’s responsibility to provide reservation to the Maratha community and “we will provide it”.

“Our government wants to give reservation to Marathas. Also, we want to give reservation in such a way that it lasts in court. We will give reservations to the Maratha community without disturbing anyone’s reservation quota,” he said.

Praising Jarange-Patil’s agitation he said, “Jarange Patil sat for the hunger strike for ensuring reservation for the Maratha community. He received tremendous support from across the state due to his honesty towards the community”

Shinde also thanked the villagers of Antarwali Sarathi for extending their full support to Jarange-Patil. “I am also from a poor farmer family and I very well know the difficulties faced by the Maratha communities at present,” he said.

Referring to the five conditions laid out by Jarange-Patil before withdrawing his hunger strike, the Chief Minister said the incident of baton charge on pro-reservation agitators was unfortunate and the state government has already suspended the officials who were responsible for it. Also, the process of withdrawing cases filed against Maratha activists during the agitation has been started.

Shinde requested Jarange-Patil to depute his representative who would be included in the justice Sandeep Shinde committee formed by the state government to decide the methodology to issue Kunbi certificates to the Maratha community.

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