After a massive show of unity at Akola on September 19, the Maratha-Kunbi community came up with another massive silent march at Amravati Thursday with roads and grounds swarming with protesters, throwing normal life out of gear for several hours. Political leaders kept distance, but the march saw overwhelming participation from women. With children dressed up as Shivaji and thousands of saffron flags fluttering along the way, the procession passed through the city’s main thoroughfares for over three hours. There were drinking water stalls along the way. Police had made elaborate arrangements.
Four girls gave a memorandum to Collector Kiran Gite, listing the community’s demands that included death for the Kopardi accused and reservation for the community.
Vidarbha doesn’t have the quintessential Maratha community per say in as many numbers as Marathwada and Western Maharashtra barring the Buldana district bordering Marathwada. The region predominantly has the Kunbis, considered as the farming community. While the Kopardi rape of a Maratha girl continues to be a trigger point of the community’s silent outrage, one of the major grievances has been the farm crisis faced by the community in Vidarbha where Kunbis formed a big chunk of farm-related suicides.