The sit-down agitation launched by Vidarbha Rajya Andolan Samiti (VRAS) at Chandika Mandir, Shahid Chowk, Itwari, to press the demands for formation of separate State of Vidarbha and others took a different turn on the third day today when when the participating workers tonsured their heads and paid tributes to the government for allegedly scutting the stir. Eight women workers also cut their hair in protest.
Wamanrao Chatap, President of the samiti, Ram Newle, Chief Convener, Ranjana Mamarde, President of Mahila Aghadi, and Mukesh Masurkar led the workers in which many persons from different parts of Vidarbha took part. It may be mentioned here that the police had arrested leaders and workers and forcibly dumped them in police vahicles yesterday. After their release, they assembled at the site from the morning. Nine youths tonsured their heads and eight women cut their hair to prove their commitment towards the demands. They include: Mukesh Masurkar, Arun Kedar, Naresh Nimje, Prashant Mule, Sudam Rathod, Vijay Maundekar, Ashok Patle, Prafulla Bobde, Ajay Shahu, Sunita Yerne, Rekha Nimje, Jyoti Khandekar, Veena Bhoyar, Usha Lambat, Shobha Yewle, Jaya Chaturkar and Krishanbai Mohabia.
Addressing the gathering, Newle said that the samiti was agitation for separate Vidarbha for the last eight years. Various leaders, including from BJP, had assured to fulfil the demand but they miserably failed to do so. The issue is still pending even after carving out three other separate states, he said criticising the government for being inactive in Vidarbha case. To protest against this, the workers tonsured their heads, he added.
Newle pointed out that the Chief Minister and Power Minister of Maharashtra had assured to waive off 30 per cent electricity bill amount but they did nothing in the matter. This is also one of the reasons for tonsuring the heads, he said.
Workers of 11 districts of Vidarbha have come here to participate in the agitation. The workers will continue the stir till Independence Day and then the executive committee will decide future line of action. Representatives of different social, businessmen and other organisations have extended active support ot the agitation.