Gujarat: Man commits suicide on quota reservation issue

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Rajkot, Mar 4: Demanding reservation for his community, a 36-year-old man belonging to the Patel community allegedly committed suicide by consuming poison at a private guest house in Dhoraji town of the district, police said today.

Prakash Shaani (36), a farmer and native of Moti Paneli village near Dhoraji town, was found lying on the bed of his rented room when the guest house manager knocked the door to wake him up last night, police said.


"When we reached the guest house after receiving information from the manager, we found Prakash lying unconscious. He was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced brought dead," said Police Sub Inspector of Dhoraji J R Rana, adding that Shaani died after consuming some poisonous substance.

Upon searching the room, police have also found a four-page suicide note, in which, Shaani claimed that he was sacrificing his life for the ongoing agitation by Patel community demanding reservation under OBC quota.

"We have found a suicide note near his bed. He addressed it to Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) convener of Saurashtra region, Lalit Vasoya, who is a distant relative of Shanni. In the suicide note, Shaani indicated that he was ending his life for the ongoing agitation for reservation," added Rana.

Following the suicide, PAAS has given a call for Dhoraji bandh. "Most of the shops remained closed and there was no untoward incident," police added. In the suicide note, which was shared by PAAS with media, Shaani stated that more Patel youths will end their lives if reservation was not granted.

"I am giving my sacrifice to wake up the government, which is still in deep sleep. I want to tell them that if reservation is not given, more Patel youths will end their lives. I urge Vasoya to fight till last breath for reservation and do not hesitate to give your life for that cause," stated the suicide note.

Shaani, who was a farmer, also mentioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi's name in the suicide note and accused government of ignoring the plight of farmers.

"We helped Modi in arranging people for a rally when he visited Paneli village when he was not even the CM. But, 'Saheb' has forgotten us today, as farmers are waiting for crop insurance since last four years. Patels are broke financially," stated Shaani in his note. 

He also slammed the Gujarat government on the quota issue and police action against Patel youths.

"This government sends innocent Patel youths in jail for raising concern of the community. Patel community helped a lot in the formation of this government. I am sure that if Patels unite, this government will come on their knees," stated the note.

The issue of Patel youth's suicide also echoed in the ongoing budget session of Assembly in Gandhinagar today, as Congress MLA Harshad Ribadiya read out the suicide note before the House and accused the government of ignoring the issue of reservation to this community.

"Yesterday, a Patel youth committed suicide. It is shameful for this government to ignore the issue of reservation, which is forcing the youths to end their lives," said Ribadiya on the floor of the House.

While talking to reporters after the session, newly elected state BJP president and state Transport Minister Vijay Rupani appealed Patel community youths not to sway in emotions and give their lives.

"This incident is truly unfortunate. I request people not to take such extreme steps, as the state government has already started the dialouge process to arrive at a compromise with Patel leaders. All matters can be resolved through dialogue," said Rupani.

This is the second incident in last six months when a Patel youth ended his life on the issue of reservation. Earlier, on September 25 last year, one Umesh Bhalala had committed suicide at his factory in Rajkot.


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