A 22-year-old farmer, part of the group of peasants protesting at Azad Maidan against the severe drought in Solapur district, allegedly attempted suicide by jumping from a tree on Thursday.
The Azad Maidan police said he climbed atop a tree inside the ground, after which the police tried to persuade him for 45 minutes to come down. They finally informed the fire brigade.
Around 1pm, the farmer, however, jumped after shouting slogans and landed on a metal sheet. Dhanaji Howale, who is from Mohol village in Solapur district sustained a few injuries.
“We took Howale to GT Hospital and he was released after treatment,” said Dipak Dhole, senior inspector of Azad Maidan police.
The police promptly arrested Howale for trying to kill himself. The police said Howale was part of the group protesting for more water to their villages.
The protest is being led by Prabhakar Deshmukh and started on February 5. Deshmukh was ridiculed by deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar a few days ago over the dams going dry.
“Howale is under severe stress because of the drought in Solapur. Around 11.45am on Thursday, a massive rally of around 1,500 people marched to the Vidhan Bhavan and we tried to enter the place. But, the police bundled us into vans and took us to Azad Maidan. We are only demanding water for our parched fields. If there was no water, how can the state send water after high court orders,” said Prabhakar Deshmukh, who is heading the protest.