Scores of Marathas took part in a peace march at Ahmednagar district on Friday to protest the rape and murder of a minor girl belonging to the community on July 13. This was the 14th rally by the community during which they also demanded reservation for Marathas and scrapping of the Prevention of Atrocities Act, among other things.
Opposition leader Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, the father of the rape victim and several others participated in the rally that began at Nowrosjee Wadia College in Pune and terminated at the district collectorate office, where the protesters submitted their list of demands. According to observers, the rally broke all previous records and brought the city to a standstill.
Large rallies by members of the Maratha community, have put chief minister Devendra Fadnavis in a fix, mainly because the community members are not responding to his call for dialogue. In its attempt to break the logjam, the state government plans to send a group of ministers to various districts of Maharashtra to discuss issues raised by the community.
BJP state unit chief Raosaheb Danve has said the BJP government is open to initiate dialogue with members of the Maratha community. “The ministers will visit various districts in the state from next month. They will interact with members of the Maratha community and discuss the issues they face,” Danve told a Marathi news channel.
Another march on September 25
On Sunday, the Marathas will organised yet another march in Pune.
Around five lakh people are likely to be part of the rally, which will start from Deccan and end at Vidhan Bhavan, said the organisers
Youth demands reservation in suicide note
A 35-year-old youth from Jat in Sangli district committed suicide on Thursday. In his suicide note, Laxman Chavan said the Marathas should get reservation or the literates from the community will suffer. Local police officers said Chavan had taken loan which he could not repay.