In the aftermath of a brutal gangrape and murder of a girl at Kopardi in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra in July this year, where the victim was a Maratha and the culprits Dalits, the Maratha community has been organising Maratha Kranti Muk Morcha' (silent marches) across the state.
Morchas at Akola, Nanded, Beed, Osmanabad, Aurangabad districts over the last one month, and in Navi Mumbai yesterday, have received huge response, forcing the political parties to take note of the community's grievances.
All these morchas are marked by disciplined conduct of the participants and lack of any kind of violence. The march here started from Nehru ground at noon and ended at Government Girls High School square.
The participants, through a memorandum, demanded capital punishment for the culprits in Kopardi incident, amendments to the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, reservations for the Maratha community, among other things.
Markets, schools and colleges remained closed in the city. As in the marches elsewhere, political leaders did not lead; four girls who walked in the front submitted the memorandum of demands to the collector Kiran Gitte.