A 20-year-old man from the Dhangar community allegedly committed suicide in Maharashtra’s Parbhani district on Sunday in support of the community’s demand for reservation, Hindustan Times reported. Yogesh Radhakishan Karke hanged himself from the ceiling of his home in Selu tehsil’s Gomewakdi village.
Deputy Superintendent of Police (Parbhani) Renuka Wagle said the police have recovered a message saved in the draft folder of Karke’s phone. “We are investigating the case, but primarily it looks like the student took his life over the reservation demand,” Wagle added.
According to police, Karke had also sent a message to a friend, saying he was committing suicide in support of the community’s demand for reservation.
Dhangars are a community of shepherds and are entitled to get 3.5% reservation as they are considered to be a nomadic tribe. The community is now demanding quota in jobs and education under the Scheduled Tribe category, which would enable them to get 7% reservation. The state has empanelled Tata Institute of Social Sciences to submit a report by the end of August.
The community has also called a statewide agitation on Monday under the banner of the Dhangar Sangharsh Samiti Maharashtra Rajya, reported The Indian Express.
Members of the community were scheduled to stage a protest at Mulund, Mankhurd and outside the collector’s office in Bandra, The Times of India reported. Calls for bandhs have been given in Pandharpur and Solapur while a road blockade has been planned in Mumbai’s suburbs of Virar and Ghatkopar.
Rajya Sabha MP Vikas Mahatme said the protest was called “following unrest among the community members, especially the poor, who believe their voice is not being heard by the government”.
The agitation by Dhangars follows a similar protest by members of the Maratha community, who demanded 16% reservation in jobs and education.