Maharashtra: Maratha reservation activist and MLC Vinayak Mete dies in accident

Published on Aug 14, 2022 11:02 AM IST

The MLC, who previously headed a committee on the proposed Chhatrapati Shivaji memorial, was en route to Mumbai to attend a meeting called by chief minister Eknath Shinde on the Maratha reservation issue

Vinayak Mete. (Facebook Photo)
Vinayak Mete. (Facebook Photo)

Vinayak Mete, Maharashtra legislative council member and leader of pro-Maratha outfit Shiv Sangram, died early on Sunday morning when the SUV he was travelling in met with an accident near Bhatan tunnel in Raigad district on the Pune-Mumbai expressway.

“Mete met with an accident around 5 am and was brought dead to hospital at 6 am. He suffered serious head injuries, and his pulse was flat,” Dr Kuldeep Salgotra, director of MGM hospital in Panvel, said.

The MLC, who previously headed a committee on the proposed Chhatrapati Shivaji memorial, was en route to Mumbai to attend a meeting called by chief minister Eknath Shinde on the Maratha reservation issue when the SUV rammed into a truck.

“This is an extremely unfortunate incident. Mete was coming to Mumbai to attend a meeting today,” Shinde said after visiting MGM hospital in Mumbai.

Mete’s bodyguard too suffered grievous injuries. While the driver escaped unhurt, he alleged that the highway control room did not respond.

“We have ordered an inquiry into why there was delay in bringing him to hospital,” the CM said.

Expressway police officials claimed that Mete’s driver was trying to overtake another vehicle when the accident took place.

“As per their driver’s statement, they didn’t receive any help for two hours. But we received a call at 5.56 am from Chandrakant Patil at our control room from Pune, and our rescue vehicle immediately reached the spot around 5: 58 am. We took Mete in an immediate response vehicle and the other two, including the driver and his bodyguard, in our police vehicle. All of them were admitted to the MGM hospital where Mete was declared dead,” highway superintendent of police Sunita Thakare said.

Deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said he received the message about the accident only around 6 am.

“Mete messaged me at 2:30 am and said he would like to meet me during the meeting on Maratha reservation called by the CM. And after that I got to know about his accident. Mete fought all through his life for the Maratha community. His final rites will be conducted after talking to his family members,” Fadnavis said.

“Mete’s focus was more on social issues than political ones. He was more of a social activist than a political leader,” Nationalist Congress Party president Sharad Pawar said.

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