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Maratha reservation protest reaches Mumbai, Fadnavis says committed to grant reservation

The protest was organised by the Maratha Kranti Morcha, who had taken out 57 silent protest marches last year. This was, however, the biggest silent protest march so far.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: August 9, 2017 7:04 pm
Devendra Fadnavis met the Maratha morcha delegation at the Vidhan Bhawan today. (Source: ANI/Twitter)

Thousands of people demanding reservations for the Maratha community marched from Jijamata Udyan in Byculla till Azad Maidan on Wednesday. Mumbai briefly turned into a sea of saffron as protesters walked down south Mumbai’s JJ flyover. Traffic movement was disrupted in several areas of south Mumbai despite the presence of hundreds of policemen personnel.

Protesters pulled down banners put up by the Shiv Sena as they did not want any “political interference”. Rajya Sabha member Chhatrapati Sambhaji Raje, who was part of the march, told reporters that he was participating as an “ordinary member” of the Maratha community.

Bollywood actor Ritersh Deshmukh also extended his support to the march last night. “Ek Maratha, Lakh Maratha,” he tweeted in Marathi.

The protest was organised by the Maratha Kranti Morcha, who had taken out 57 silent protest marches last year. This was, however, the biggest silent protest march so far.

On a day the Mahrashtra Assembly was in session, a delegation from the Maratha morcha met Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis at the Vidhan Bhawan. After the meeting, Fadnavis said his government is committed towards granting reservation to the Maratha community. He asked the Maharashtra Backward Commission to submit a detailed report on the issue as it would expedite the reservation demand in court.

On the gangrape and murder of a Maratha girl in Kopardi village, Fadnavis said the trial is being fast-tracked and the government is pushing for the highest punishment for the perpetrators. Some residents of Kopardi village in Ahmednagar district were also part of today’s morcha.

Later on, speaking in the Maharashtra Assembly, Fadnavis awarded land and granted Rs 5 crore to build hostels for students from Maratha community in every district.

At the Azad Maidan, a morcha participant — dressed like Chhatrapati Shivaji — was heard extolling the virtues of a “government of the people and for the people”, as practised by the Maratha king.

Ishanvi Deshmukh, a three-year-old girl, impressed the gathering with a well-memorised speech seeking reservations for the Maratha community. Some residents of Kopardi village in Ahmednagar district, where the brutal rape and murder in July 2016 of a 14-year-old girl belonging to the community triggered massive protests across the state, also participated in today’s morcha.

Also present at the venue was Manohar Anandrao Patil from Latur district, who said he had participated in all the 58 Maratha morchas till date. The first protest was held in Aurangabad on August 9 last year.

Another protester came to the venue in the attire of a farmer in distress, with a noose dangling from his neck. “This is an attempt to draw the government’s attention to the plight of farmers,” he said.

All parking areas in Navi Mumbai were full as morcha participants coming from across Maharashtra parked their vehicles on vacant lots.
The protesters have been demanding reservation in jobs and educational institutions for members of the Maratha community, punishment for culprits in the Kopardi case and loan waivers for farmers.

With PTI inputs

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  1. V
    Vivek Hindu
    Aug 12, 2017 at 2:00 pm
    Every Single Poor is Dalit, is SC/ST/OBC If you struggle to learn, earn, feed then you are Dalit. Reservation is for making life better, How it is If you learn then get job then Money. reservation should be on Economy based but who cares. People who raise their voices on Maratha Reservation should go out and check the current condition of this community. there are hundred of Unemployed, many of them not in Govt. even after having good Merit because of 70 ST/SC/OBC reservation with 36 Stop you nautanki on merit merit another 100 years will be pass to grant reservation on Merit. Maratha deserve reservation. Every Single Poor Deserve Reservation.
    1. Sushil Ahuja
      Aug 10, 2017 at 6:59 am
      These are Feku's conspiracy to divert mind of the entire countty from "her" failures. Demonetisation was a dirty game like many conspiracies your Fenku have been faking. Purisस्थान has worse than Pakistan and both will be adopted by Chinaese hard working rich deserving people.
      1. S
        Aug 10, 2017 at 12:14 am
        1. J
          Aug 10, 2017 at 12:04 am
          interesting!! Marathas have been in power in Maharashtra since 1960. Their leaders licked the feet of Delhi politicians all these years. Now they are voted out they are "agitating for reservations!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
          1. V
            Aug 10, 2017 at 1:41 am
            Who said that they have been voted out?
          2. S
            Aug 9, 2017 at 11:58 pm
            When SC/ST, OBC community want to perpetuate reservation, then let us not complain about excluded communities seeking reservation for themselves
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