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Maratha Morcha to take place in Mumbai on 31 January; organisers expect high turnout

The Maratha Kranti Morcha, the silent protests that began in August last year after the infamous Kopardi gangrape and murder, will resume in Mumbai on 31 January.

According to Hindustan Times, the organisers of the protests said that the Mumbai march will see the highest-ever turnout. The march will also take place just before elections to civic bodies in major cities in Maharashtra.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

"To maintain the pressure built on the government, we have decided to hold a march in Mumbai. More than three crore community people came onto the street during the marches in various districts. It resulted in positive steps by the government in the past few months. The major demand of reservation is still pending in court and by organising the march, we want the government to expedite the process," the report quoted Mansingh Pawar, one of the organisers, as saying.

Another report in The Free Press Journal said that the march will begin at 1 pm from Marine Drive and the organisers will directly approach Governor C Vidyasagar Rao with their demands.

The incident which eventually led to the Maratha Kranti Morchas took place on 13 July 2016, when a 15-year-old Maratha girl was allegedly gang raped and murdered by four Dalit youths who inflicted injuries all over her body and broke her limbs before throttling her at Kopardi village in Ahmednagar.

After the gangrape, Maratha Kranti silent morchas were held in Akola, Nanded, Beed, Osmanabad, Aurangabad, Jalgaon and Jalna districts over August and September. They had received huge response, forcing all political parties to take note of the community's grievances.

From August to November, more than 40 Maratha Kranti Morchas were held across the state, with several lakhs taking to the streets.

However, the march which took place in Nagpur in December received a lukewarm response. While the previous marches generated massive responses with participants running in lakhs, the first march after demonetisation drew around only 15,000 people that according to organiser Sakal Maratha Samaj's claims should have drawn 2.5 million, according to a report by Livemint.

The Maratha protests were low-profile for quite some time after demonetisation and first phase of local municipal bodies polls. In fact, funding for the march which involves arranging for transport and refreshments among other things, post demonistisation of higher currency notes was deemed to be one of the biggest problems, according to Mumbai Mirror.

With inputs from agencies

Updated Date: Jan 06, 2017 13:45 PM

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