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Maratha Quota Activist Jarange's Health Deteriorates As Hunger Strike Enters 9th Day

Manoj Jarange has been holding a hunger protest in Maharashtra since August 29 for Maratha quota. The government has reached out to him twice urging to withdraw the fast, but he has refused to budge.

Maharashtra Bandh Over Maratha Quota Agitation
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Manoj Jarange, whose hunger strike for Maratha quota entered the 9th day on Wednesday, has dehydration and he is now being administered intravenous fluids, said doctors monitoring the activist's health condition in Maharashtra's Jalna district. His blood pressure was also on the lower side in the morning, a health official told PTI. 

Jarange, aged around 40, has been holding the hunger protest in Jalna district's Antarwali Sarati village since August 29. The activist on Tuesday said he would stop drinking water and fluids after four days if a favourable decision on quota is not taken.

The government has so far reached out to Jarange two times urging him to withdraw the fast, but he has refused to budge. A team of doctors is monitoring his health condition regularly. "Jarange has dehydration and his creatinine level is a little high. We have started giving him intravenous fluids," Jalna's Additional Civil Surgeon Dr Pratap Ghodke said. "Though Jarange's vital parameters are fine, his blood pressure is on the lower side. His BP recorded this morning was 110 (systolic) and 70 (diastolic). The electrolytes are fine and his heart rate is also satisfactory," he added.

On September 1, police baton charged and lobbed tear gas shells to disperse a violent mob in Antarwali Sarati village after protesters allegedly refused to let authorities shift Jarange to hospital. Several persons, including 40 police personnel, were injured and more than 15 state transport buses were set ablaze in violence.

On Tuesday, Maharashtra Minister of Tourism Girish Mahajan along with his cabinet colleagues Sandipan Bhumre and Atul Save met Jarange and urged him to call off the protest. Mahajan asked Jarange to accompany them to Mumbai and hold talks with Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on the issue, but he refused. 

CM Shinde on Monday said a committee will submit its report within a month on how to issue Kunbi caste certificates to Marathas from Marathwada region. Reservation in jobs and education provided by the Maharashtra government to the Maratha community in 2018 when Devendra Fadnavis was chief minister was quashed by the Supreme Court in May 2021, citing the 50 per cent ceiling on total reservations among other grounds.

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