Nagpur: As the statewide Maratha agitation and all the demands seem to fall on deaf ears of the government, the silent Maratha Morcha scheduled on Wednesday here, is going to be the last resort in the ongoing winter session.
On the other hand, Pro-Maratha organization Chhava’s attempt to disrupt chief minister Devendra Fadnavis’ election rallies in Marathwada on Monday has raised apprehensions about the Sakal Maratha-Kunbi silent march (muk morcha) to be held in city on Wednesday.
However, organizers said such fears were unfounded and it would indeed be a disciplined and silent march led by women and girls to showcase Maratha unity. But the fact that this would be the last march in the ongoing series since July and the community was frustrated that hardly any of their demands were met by the government is keeping the security apparatus on tenterhooks.
Briefing the media about the rally’s preparations, organizers’ representatives Madhukar Mehkare, Dilip Khodke, Abhijit Sapkal and ex- MLAs Sunil Shinde and Ashok Dhawad said they were expecting at least 25 lakh people in the march that will start from Yeshwant Stadium and proceed towards Vidhan Bhavan. They will present a memorandum to the government over its three main demands: fast-tracking of Kopardi rape case trial, reservation in jobs and education to the Maratha community and higher remuneration for farm produce.
While police sources preparing for the event said they did not expect more than a lakh attending the silent rally, they also downplayed any possibility of disturbance or unruly behaviour by marchers or supporters of the community. But even discounting the organizers’ claims, a large crowd of a couple of lakhs could throw the city in a total disarray with traffic movement across the city becoming the first causality.
Two special trains, one starting from Mumbai and another from Washim, each having 18 boggies have been booked. Hundreds of buses from practically every district will reach the city on Wednesday morning. Buses will be parked at four places in four corners of the city.
Mehkare and Sapkal said 18 cameras on the march route would beam live pictures to be streamed on a website and can be watched on mobile phones too through an application that can be downloaded by giving a missed call on 808080773. The live webcast can be watched on http://estv.in/marathamorcha/. They said hundreds of doctors would be available for help and ambulances well ply on the route. Around 25 community halls and marriage halls will be used for stay of women marchers.