Maratha community in Maharashtra has been taking to the streets for more than a year now. In what is being touted as Maratha Kranti Morcha's final mega march in Mumbai, Marathas have put forward 22 demands which include reservation in jobs and education institutes among others.
The community that accounts for more than one-third of Maharashtra's population is dependent on agriculture. The growing discontent in the community is being blamed on dwindling profits in agriculture.
Mumbai witnessed a standstill as members of Maratha Kranti Morcha began their protests in the city. Lakhs of members of this politically powerful community are taking out their first 'mook morcha' or silent protest in Mumbai to pitch for reservation in jobs and colleges.
The 58th protest march in Mumbai comes after 57 processions were held in various parts of Maharashtra following the brutal rape and murder of a 14-year-old Maratha girl in Kopardi in Ahmednagar district in July 2016, according to reports, reported Financial Express.
Protestors are also demanding amendment in SC, ST (Prevention of Atrocities Act) to stop its 'misuse' and loan waivers to curb farmer suicides.
The morcha, which began at 11 am from the BMC's Jijamata Udyan and culminate at Azad Maidan in south Mumbai.
1:25 pm: The Central Railway has made elaborate arrangements to deal with the rush which is expected today on account of 'Maratha Morcha'. Chief PRO of Central Railway told PTI that probably after 2 pm, railway will run additional suburban services as per the requirement.
1:10 pm: Former chief minister Ashok Chavan is expected to join the protests
1:08 pm: First to reach Azad Maidan is Congress leader Narayan Rane who is heading a one-man commission which looked into the Maratha reservation policy during the Congress-NCP government.
1:05 pm: Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis is likely to announce the formation of a committee comprising several Maratha leaders to look into reservation. Fadnavis is likely to meet leaders of the Maratha protests and Maratha MLAs and make an announcement in the Vidhan Sabha on Wednesday.
12:50 pm: Students of SoBo schools have been given the day off, so they are not inconvenienced by the traffic congestion expected due to the Maratha Kranti Morcha.
12:10 pm: Most of the protesters have come from Mumbai's satellite cities of Navi Mumbai, Pune, Thane and Nashik
12:00 pm: All Opposition MLAs are set to go to Azad Maidan in support of the Maratha protesters. The Maharashtra Vidhan Sabha has been adjourned till 3 pm
11:45 am: No injuries have been reported so far due to the Maratha Kranti Morcha rally, according to reports.
11:30 am: Maratha Kranti Morcha rally is expected to culminate at Bombay Gymkhana by 3 PM.
11:15 am: Mumbai Police is completely geared all over South Mumbai to handle any kind of situation, said Deven Bharti, joint commissioner of Mumbai Police.
11:05 am: Traffic movement affected at various places due to Maratha Kranti Morcha rally.
11:00 am: Maratha Kranti Morcha rally by Maratha community to demand for reservation begins
10:50 am: The morcha has been organised by the Sakal Maratha Samaj, an umbrella organisation of several Maratha groups.
10:45 am: Schools in south Mumbai will remain closed as a precautionary measure. The JJ flyover will be closed for traffic.
Samajwadi Party supports #MarathaKrantiMorcha.I demand Reservation for Marathas as well as Muslim Community as proposed by previous Govt.- Abu Asim Azmi (@abuasimazmi) August 8, 2017
Mumbai: Shiv Sena MLAs protest outside Maharashtra Assembly demanding reservation for Maratha community pic.twitter.com/6A4Dxrxzdu- ANI (@ANI) August 9, 2017