A Patidar youth in Gujarat committed suicide in a desperate bid to press for the OBC reservation demand.
Prakash Vallabh Shaani, 36, a resident of Rajkot district, consumed poison late on Thursday night. A four-page suicide note found by the police, which also mentioned Gujarat chief minister Anandiben Patel, revealed that he ‘sacrificed’ his life for the ‘cause’. This is the second such case for the Patidar community since the launch of the agitation for reservation benefits in government jobs and college admission, in July 2015.
Police say Shaani booked a room in the Bajrang Guest House. The staff found him dead when he did not respond to the wake up call booked for 4 am.
Owner of an electric goods shop and 15 bigha land in the village, Shanni was the youngest of three brothers. He is survived by his wife and two sons.
Addressing CM Patel, the suicide note said, “You are also a Patidar. The community is in pathetic condition...crops in the last four season have failed.”
The note, which also addressed Patidar Ananmat Andolan Samiti Convener Lalit Vasoya, said: “I am ending my life so the government understands that more lives will be lost if it does not grant reservation.”
In September last year, soon after a massive rally led by 22-year-old Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) leader Hardik Patel in Ahmedahad had turned violent, Rajkot city resident Umesh Patel, 40, also committed suicide for the same reason.
Shaani’s suicide comes at time when the government has appointed Porbandar MP Vithal Radadiya to reach a compromise formula with Hardik Patel, who has been in judicial custody since October 2015.
Hardik has been booked under eight cases, including two sedition FIRs. In the violence ensuing the Ahmedabad rally, the mob had damaged public property worth Rs 44 crore and nine Patidar youths were killed in a clash with the police.