The Maharashtra government on Wednesday gave in to demands put forth by the Maratha Kranti Morcha. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced that a cabinet sub-committee will review all demands on reservations. Chandhrakant Patil will head the committee.
Speaking in the state Assembly, Fadnavis promised extension of benefits in 605 educational courses for Maratha students. Interest-free loans up to Rs 10 lakh for self-employment and reducing cut off for a scholarship for Maratha students from current 60 per cent to 50 per cent was also announced. Land, as well as a grant of Rs 5 crore to set up separate hostels for students from the community, was also promised. The Maharashtra government has assured to set up district-wise committees to decide on cases filed under the Atrocities Act.
Maratha leaders were assured that Devendra Fadnavis' government will put in efforts to ensure stringent punishment to culprits of Kopardi case and added that the push will be made to expedite court proceedings.
Earlier in the day, a delegation of Morcha leaders met Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis at the Maharashtra secretariat. Maratha leaders brought Mumbai to a standstill with Wednesday's rally.
The Maharashtra assembly was adjourned till 3 PM on Wednesday after opposition, as well as Shiv Sena MLAs, walked out to join the protests. Maratha leaders who organised the protests however, warned political leaders to stay away.
MLAs of the opposition parties in Maharashtra, as well as those from the Shiv Sena, have extended support to the Maratha Kranti Morcha rally. A sea of humanity covered the entire stretch from Byculla to J J Nagar flyover on Wednesday noon as lakhs of protestors participated in the silent march.
No sloganeering took place despite lakhs gathering to show their support for the cause of Marathas in the state capital.Volunteers also cleaned up after the rally to ensure that no inconvenience was caused to residents.
The massive rally by Maratha Kranti Morcha took place in Mumbai with lakhs thronging to take part. Protestors waived saffron flags as they began the silent march from Mumbai's Byculla on Wednesday morning.
Schools in Mumbai were shut on Wednesday while close to 10,000 policemen were deployed along the route of the rally. Drones cameras, CCTVs at prominent places are being used to monitor the silent but slow rally.
Lakhs of protesters waving saffron flags also include thousands of women and children. Mumbai's famous Dabbawallahs called off work for a day to support the rally and take part in the same.
Traffic snarls were witnessed in Mumbai on Wednesday with thousands taking to the streets to be part of the Maratha Kranti Morcha rally. The government had announced that schools will remain shut on Wednesday considering the magnanimity of the rally. Touted to be the largest and the last of the multiple rallies by the community across Maharashtra, the one in Mumbai is focused on urging the government to extend reservations to the Maratha community.
Close to five lakh people are expected to be part of the Maratha pride rally and as expected, traffic snarls were reported from various junctions. As Azad Maidan is filling up, Ambedkar road was opened up for traffic. Alternate routes and parking restrictions have been chalked out. For a rally that is being touted as apolitical, the Maratha Kranti Morcha has the support of almost all political parties in Maharashtra.
Civic administration has asked people to avoid travelling to South Mumbai while the police have put restrictions in place. The organisers, however, have claimed that the march will not cause inconvenience but the sheer numbers are expected to bring the city to a standstill.ambed
The rally began from Byculla at 11 AM and culminated at Azad Maidan near the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus at 5 PM. Reservations for Marathas in the state, amendments to Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 are the key demands of protestors. The rally was also aimed at demanding justice in the Khopardi rape and murder case.
The massive rally in Mumbai comes after the community completed 57 silent rallies across multiple locations Maharashtra. The rally passed through major junctions and as expected, led to traffic disruptions at various locations.