Maratha Group To Hold 'Biggest' Silent March In Mumbai To Press Reservation Demand

Their silent protests, the group says, is a peaceful way to press demand for reservation in jobs and educational institutions

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Maratha Group To Hold 'Biggest' Silent March In Mumbai To Press Reservation Demand

The Maratha group organised its first silent march in Aurangabad on August 9, 2016. (File)


Mumbai:  Exactly a year after a Maratha group organised its first Maratha Kranti Morcha or silent march in Aurangabad, which was followed by other cities across Maharashtra, it is ready to hold its "biggest" rally in Mumbai tomorrow. Their silent protest, the group says, is a peaceful way to press demand for reservation in jobs and educational institutions and punishment for culprits in the rape and murder of a 14-year-old girl in Kopardi. The crime had triggered massive protests across Maharashtra in July last year.

Their other demands include Amendment in SC, ST (Prevention of Atrocities Act) to stop its misuse, loan waiver to curb farmer suicides, and guaranteed rate for agricultural produce.

The rally, organised by the Sakal Maratha Samaj, an umbrella organisation of several Maratha groups, the first in the state capital, will start from Jijamata Udyan in Byculla at 10.30 am and end at Azad Maidan in south Mumbai. There have been 57 such marches across the state.

Maharashtra revenue minister Chandrakant Patil has appealed to the leaders of Maratha community to discuss their issues with the government before holding the rally.

"The government has taken decisions on most of their demands.... We have revised eligibility for economically backward class for the benefit of students by raising annual family income ceiling to Rs 6 lakh from Rs 5 lakh," he said.

The government wouldn't object to the rally, "but we expect the leaders to talk to us before holding it," he said.

"We have also provided competent prosecutors for the Kopardi rape and murder case," he said.

He added that the government is also in talks with the Centre to provide assured support prices to the agricultural produce.

A member of the organising committee, Nanasaheb Patil said, "The code of conduct for the rally will be the same as it was in the past. There will be no slogan-shouting and everyone will march silently and peacefully."

(With inputs from PTI)


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