AN 18-YEAR-OLD National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) aspirant died by suicide in Beed district on Thursday, police said. A note, purportedly written by the boy and found near his body, said he feared losing out on a place in the merit list of the examination as the Supreme Court had stayed reservation for the Maratha community in educational institutions, police added.
Vivek Rahade, was found dead at his family’s farm in Ketura village Thursday morning, following which a case of accidental death was registered at Beed Rural police station, police said.
In the note, police said, Rahade claimed his parents were poor and hardworking farmers and that he had big ambitions in life. “I have recently appeared for the NEET medical exams. Since there is no longer reservation for Marathas, I did not score well in the exams. My parents cannot afford to enroll me in a private medical college. This is why I am ending my life. If the state government and central government now feel sympathy for Maratha students then I will not have died in vain,” the note purportedly read.
Beed Superintendent of Police, Raja Ramasamy, said he would not comment on the reason for Rahade’s suicide until the authenticity of the note was verified. He added Rahade’s body was handed over to his family after a post-mortem.
Soon after the news of Rahade’s death broke, NCP leader Parth Pawar, the grandnephew of party chief Sharad Pawar, tweeted: “Before a chain reaction of such unfortunate incident starts, Maratha leaders have to wake up & fight for this cause. Requesting Maha govt to step in to solve the crisis.”
Pawar also said he had “no choice” but to file an intervention application in the Supreme Court in the Maratha reservation.
In 2018, the Maharashtra government had enacted the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) legislation to grant reservation to the Maratha community, a politically dominant community in the state, in jobs and education. Last year, the Bombay High Court on July 27 reduced the government approved 16 per cent reservation to 12 per cent in education and 13 per cent in government jobs.
Last month, a three-member SC bench had stayed the reservation for the Maratha community in educational institutes and government jobs. The court’s verdict had sparked protests from Marathas across the state.
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