Lakhs of people from the Maratha Community held a silent protest march at Azad Maidan demanding reservation in jobs and education. Sea of people walked at medium pace, sporting saffron turbans without any banners or political messages.
People started arriving in Mumbai early morning by public transport and private vehicles. Police and Traffic Personnel were deployed in large numbers to manage the huge inflow of people.
JJ Flyover was closed for traffic in view of the march. Schools in South Mumbai were closed as a precautionary measure. The famous ‘dabbawalas’ of Mumbai joined the protest and cancelled tiffin operations on Wednesday.
“A delegation of Maratha leaders will call on the Chief Minister to submit a memorandum listing their various demands. Though there are many issues, stress will be on education and job reservation,” said Former Chief Minister Narayan Rane.
What comes as a surprise, Muslims also joined in support of Maratha Kranti Morcha and have continued till the 58thmorcha within a year. The unity of both communities having similar issues seems relevant. Muslims were present in the previous marches too and helped in distributing water and refreshments.
At the venue where the morcha began protestors tore banners put up by Shiv Sena, stressing they did not want any political interference.