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Fadnavis 'positive' on reservation for Marathas
Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis, while announcing the sops, has assured the protesters that he is “positive” about reservation. Apart from offering concession in 600 educational courses, the state government has also announced interest-free loans up to Rs10 lakh for self-employment to the protesters.
Protesters claim victory, say govt has accepted demands
Maratha protestors claim the state government has accepted their demands. “Like OBCs, we too have reservation now,” said a protest leader. He said the list of demands accepted include concession in 6000 courses, and hostel accommodation for Marathas in each district. Committees under atrocities prevention act will also be constituted in each district.
The Mumbai Police have geared up with over 7,000 personnel, including commandos, armed police, cops in plainclothes, assigned for providing security duties during the procession. The police plan to make big use of the social media like Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, FM radios and other media to provide updates on traffic to the millions of office-goers in the morning and evening peak hours. All schools and colleges in south Mumbai were ordered shut by Education Minister Vinod Tawde on the day to ensure students were not inconvenienced during the procession.
Meanwhile, the Maratha brigade which trooped into Mumbai from the five entry points, besides the railways, resulted in huge traffic jams in Mumbai and adjacent districts of Thane, Raigad, and Palghar. They have been reaching the state capital by trains, private vehicles, trucks, tempos and even two-wheelers waving Maratha flags and sporting bright orange turbans, entering through railway stations and the entry points.
While the authorities anticipate participation of between 500,000-800,000 Marathas from across the state, the organisers are optimistic it will be the jewel in the crown of all morchas so far with the figure crossing three million. Senior Congress leader Narayan Rane told mediapersons that the procession will start marching from Byculla, south Mumbai at 11 a.m. in a peaceful and orderly manner, silently, without political speeches and terminate at the historic Azad Maidan some four kms away at 5 p.m.
"Thereafter, a delegation of Maratha leaders will meet the Chief Minister and submit a memorandum listing the various demands. Though there are many demands, the stress will be on education and job reservations for the Maratha community members," said Rane, a former Chief Minister and a prominent Maratha leader himself.
South Mumbai is among the worst-hit areas due to the Maratha Kranti Morchi silent rally. Dadar and BR Ambedkar Road were worst affected. Traffic was crawling in most parts of South Mumbai. Officers had to bear the brunt as the roads were clogged and they found it hard to get autorickshaws ands taxis.
"We want to send this message to Maharashtra and the authorities that the demands of the Marathas shall be fulfilled. My father is a farmer and he is dying because he is not getting money for the produce.. Farm Loans should be waived off... All Hindus and Marathas should come out with full vigour..we want to bring all the Marathas together through the Morcha," says Supporters
Central Railway to run extra trains
An extra general coach will be attached to seven long-distance trains and there will be an additional ticket window for issuing tickets, Sunil Udasi, PRO. Central Railway said. "We have two rakes in stand-by mode. If required, we will run them as special trains from CSMT (Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Mumbai Terminus) to Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj Terminus (Kolhapur) via Manmad and Karjat routes", he said.
The Maratha leaders who have been organising these silent rallies for a year have rejected the idea of negotiating with the government. With this final rally, which is the 58th ‘mook morcha’ in the state, the community is demanding justice for the 15-year-old Kopardi rape victim and amendment in Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, apart from other things.
Mumbai Police has issued a traffic advisory for commuters urging them to avoid certain roads between the Byculla Zoo and Azad Maidan route. Toll collection at Mulund East has been stopped for the day so that there’s no traffic pile up on this connector for the Maratha Kranti Morcha.
Traffic arrangements to minimise inconvenience to citizens, during the silent morcha today from Byculla to Azad Maidan b/w 9 am-5 pm pic.twitter.com/oTvBFJUFe0— Mumbai Police (@MumbaiPolice) August 9, 2017
The education department has issued an order to over 500 schools in South Mumbai to remain shut on Wednesday to avoid further congestion. A circular issued by the school education department said, “Maratha Kranti Morcha has been organised on August 9. Traffic snarls are likely to occur. There are chances of schools buses getting stuck in these traffic snarls, thus inconveniencing school students. Hence, it is decided that school en route Maratha Kranti Morcha must remain closed.”
Maratha Kranti Morcha to Disrupt Mumbai Traffic, 500 Schools Shut
In the last and final silent march of the Maratha community in Mumbai that is expected to start from Jijamata Udyaan at 11 am on Wednesday, lakhs of protesters have already started to gather on the streets of the city. Traffic police have put in place several measures to brace for the massive traffic disruptions, with five lakh protesters expected to turn up for the silent march. Central railways will be running extra trains on the main and harbour lines. Sources from the Railways said they will be adding extra coaches to several trains moving through western Maharashtra and Vidarbha regions.
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