8 months after last rally, Marathas to march, organisers say they will ‘bring Mumbai to a standstill’
Each Maratha has been asked to bring family members to the march and reach out to 50 community members to ensure their participation in the Mumbaimumbai Updated: Aug 07, 2017 09:20 IST
Eight months after the Maratha community held its last rally, it is set to hold a silent march in Mumbai on August 9. The community aims to revive its demand for reservation in government jobs and educational institutes.
The protest will start from Byculla zoo at 11 am and conclude at Azad Maidan in South Mumbai.
With just two days to go, the organisers of the Maratha Kranti March (Maratha Revolution March), who have claimed that the rally will see an unprecedented turnout, are using social media to reach out to community members in the state.
Each Maratha has been asked to bring family members to the march and reach out to 50 community members to ensure their participation.
“We are going to bring Mumbai to a standstill. More than 50 lakh people are expected to participate in the march. We expect at least 20,000 people from each district. Our estimated targets show that an unprecedented turnout will be achieved,” said Sanjiv Bhor Patil, one of the organisers.
State authorities expect a more realistic turnout of 1 lakh to 4 lakh.
The huge crowds were a talking point in the all silent rallies held last yea. To effectively manage them, the organisers have started training volunteers at the Maratha Kranti Morcha’s Dadar office.
Nearly 10,000 volunteers from Mumbai alone will be deployed on all routes so discipline can be maintained. Volunteers from other districts will also help out, said organiser Virendra Pawar.
A code of conduct has been issued, instructing community members not to indulge in sloganeering, to maintain silence, to help women and senior citizens and to dispose of any garbage they see.
To create awareness and ramp up momentum, several bike rallies were held across the state since last week. On Sunday, such rallies were organised Andheri, Borivli, Govandi, Jogeshwari, Vile Parle and Mankhurd. Similar rallies were also organised in Navi Mumbai, Kharghar and Thane.
This is the third time community outfits are attempting to hold a rally in Mumbai after holding huge protests across the state.Two of their earlier attempts failed, following differences among organisers.
Organisers did not respond to the state’s attempt to stop the community from holding the protest. Parties such as the BJP and politicians such as Ashish Shelar are even expected to join this rally. .
An all-party delegation of 35 to 40 legislators met chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Friday evening, requesting him to accept the Marathas’ demands.
Pravin Darekar, BJP legislator, who was also part of the delegation, said the rally is not in protest against any political parties. “Fadnavis told us he would consider our demands, except the one for reservations, which is currently pending in court,” he said.
Senior Congress leader Narayan Rane, Congress legislators Bhai Jagtap, Bharat Bhalke, NCP legislator Narendra Patil, Shiv Sangram legislator Vinayak Mete and others were part of the delegation.
The community rallies started in protest against the rape and murder of a minor girl from Kopardi in Ahmednagar district on July 13 last year.
The community had demanded the death sentence for the accused, dilution of the Atrocities Act (Prevention of Atrocities against Scheduled Castes and Tribes Act), reservation in government jobs and education for the community.