Mumbai: Members of the Maratha community took out a huge silent march in Maharashtra’s Sangli demanding reservation in educational institutes and government jobs and also strict action against culprits of the Kopardi rape case.
According to organisers – the Maratha Kranti Muk Morcha – around nine lakh people joined the protests which also included BJP’s Sanjaykaka Patil and Sudhir Gadgil, Congress leader Patangrao Kadam, NCP’s Jayantrao Patil and others.
The protest march began from the Deccan Vishrambagh area of Sangli finished at the district collector’s office and lasted two hours. A group of young girls also submitted a memorandum to the Sangli district collector, Shekhar Gaikwad.
According to the police the protest was largely peaceful and food and water were made available by volunteers of various organisations for the protestors.
The Maratha community is predominant in Maharashtra’s politics and has been taking out silent marches in various towns of the state over the last one month, following the rape and murder of a Marathi girl at Kopardi in Ahmednagar two months ago.
Protestors have also demanded that the Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities Act) be banned saying it was grossly misused.
Previous protest rallies in Navi Mumbi, Akola, Latur, Nanded, Nashik and Pune drew massive crowds. Next the protestors are planning to hold marches in Mumbai and Chiplun in Ratnagiri district on October 16.