Jarange ends hunger strike over Maratha quota issue after Maharashtra CM meets him

Mumbai: A day after he launched an indefinite hunger strike over the Maratha quota issue, activist Manoj Jarange on Saturday called off his indefinite hunger strike after Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde met him in Navi Mumbai. CM Shinde met Jarange at Vashi, where the latter has been camping since Friday morning along with thousands of his supporters.

Jarange ended his indefinite fast after drinking a glass of juice offered by the chief minister. The 40-year-old activist had planned to stage a hunger strike at Azad Maidan in south Mumbai from Friday. However, government officials held several meetings with him in Vashi on Friday to discuss his demands. Late at night, the government sent a delegation with a draft ordinance regarding the demands.

On Saturday morning, Jarange announced that he was calling off his agitation as the government had accepted all his demands.

The government also issued a notification to recognise as Kunbis all blood relatives of the Maratha community members whose Kunbi caste records have been found.

Kunbi, an agrarian community, falls in the Other Backward Classes (OBC) category, and Jarange has been demanding Kunbi certificates for all Marathas.

On Friday, Jarange made a fresh demand that the government amend its free education policy to include all Marathas until the benefit of reservation becomes available for the entire community.