Mumbai is soon to witness the ‘biggest’ silent rally on Wednesday after the first march in Aurangabad by the Maratha Kranti Morcha which was followed by other cities across Maharashtra. According to the organisers of the march, this silent protest is a peaceful way demanding reservation in jobs and educational institutions and punishment for culprits in the rape and murder of a 14-year-old girl in Kopardi.
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 11 am and end at Azad Maidan in south Mumbai. Among other demands, they also asking for Amendment in SC, ST (Prevention of Atrocities Act) to stop its misuse, loan waiver to curb farmer suicides, and guaranteed rate for agricultural produce.
However, 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 wouldn’t object to the rally, “but we expect the leaders to talk to us before holding it,” he said.
“The government has taken decisions on most of their demands…. We have revised eligibility for the economically backwards class for the benefit of students by raising annual family income ceiling to Rs. 6 lakh from Rs. 5 lakh,” 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.”