By Prarthana Mitra
Disgruntled with the slow progress of the ordinance committee assessing the eligibility of the Marathas for reservation, the community led by Maratha Kranti Morcha staged a Jail Bharo Andolan at Mumbai’s Azad Maidan on Wednesday.
— Hindustan Times (@htTweets) August 1, 2018
Here’s what happened
The local outfit agitating for quota in government jobs and education staged this protest, as a challenge to the state government to put them in jail. The state police acquiesced, detaining over 335 protestors over the day, in Mumbai and elsewhere. The 34 people arrested at Azad Maidan were later released.
In Mumbai and elsewhere, at least 335 persons were detained during the day.https://t.co/wa9jcWBKn4
— News18 (@CNNnews18) August 1, 2018
Protesters also blocked the Pune-Solapur National Highway in Solapur, and even took their slogans to Latur, where Labour Minister Sambhaji Patil-Nilangekar resides.
Demands, major and minor, must be met
To expedite the decision on the quota, thousands from the community assembled at the Maidan, demanding immediate introduction of Maratha reservation. They voiced other major demands, including action against action against the officers responsible for firing and lathi charge during the July 25 protest, resignation or sacking of ministers and MLAs who gave irresponsible statements against Maratha community, and taking back all cases opened against the protesters.
According to NDTV, the Morcha is also agitating for a complete loan waiver, “justice” in the Kopardi rape case, and a solution to unemployment for their community.
A political quicksand
“We have lost confidence in Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. His assurances of offering reservation are hollow,” Kedar Shinde, a protester at Azad Maidan, told News 18. Maratha Kranti Morcha leader Amol Jadhavarao has also expressed discontent with the government’s token gestures in acceptance of their demands. But there is still no official written order issued in this regard, he said.
Maratha Kranti Morcha has been calling for reservations in education as well as government jobs for the Marathas. The Maratha community forms around 30 per cent of Maharashtra’s populationhttps://t.co/8aABWDrQN8
— TIMES NOW (@TimesNow) July 31, 2018