Protester injured in attack on Congress office dies

March 6th, 2009 - 9:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, March 6 (IANS) A protester, who was injured while trying to set fire to the Congress party office here last week, succumbed to burns Friday, taking the death toll in the incident to three.
Damodar Madiga, an activist of the Madiga Reservation Porata Samiti (MRPS), died at a private hospital here. He is the second MRPS activist to lose his life after Surendra Madiga died Sunday.

A special police officer, Sambasiva Raju, succumbed to his injuries Wednesday. Two other injured in the violence are still undergoing treatment.

Five people were injured when MRPS made an abortive bid Feb 28 to set fire to Gandhi Bhavan, the headquarters of the ruling Congress party.

The incident took place when Congress president Sonia Gandhi was addressing a public meeting in the city.

MRPS had threatened to disrupt her visit to protest the delay in categorisation of backward classes for reservations in jobs and education.

MRPS, which represents Madigas, a backward class, has for long been demanding categorisation of backward classes so that they enjoy the benefits of reservations in proportion to their population.

MRPS has blamed Congress party for the incident and has warned that it would have to pay a heavy price in the next month’s elections.

MRPS leader Manda Krishna Madiga Friday announced a compensation of Rs.500,000 to the families of each of those killed in the incident.

Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, meanwhile, reiterated that the Congress party was committed to categorisation of backward classes and alleged that MRPS was unnecessarily trying to politicise the issue.

He recalled that all political parties in the state had backed the demand of Madigas and claimed his government had made all efforts in this regard during the last three years.

“However, it needs constitutional amendment and this can be done only after a new parliament is constituted,” he said.

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