Maratha community protestors at Azad Maidan, in south Mumbai. Pic/Bipin Kokate
Mumbai was on Wednesday deluged by a mammoth 'Maratha storm' with lakhs of people from the politically powerful community began their first, biggest and final mammoth 'mook morcha' (silent procession), leading to the Maharashtra government announcing a slew of measures.
The metropolis turned into a sea of saffron as members of the politically influential community from different parts of the state converged here to press for reservation in government jobs and education among other demands.
The Marathas took out a silent march from Jijamata Udyan in Byculla to Azad Maidan in South Mumbai.
Here are 12 facts about one of the biggest rally witnessed in Mumbai
1: Started on August 9, 2016, with processions in 57 cities, the MKM made its maiden entry in the state capital on Wednesday and ended the year-long campaign for reservation by submitting a memorandum to Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in the evening.
2: While the majority were on foot, there were some adventurous Marathas who came on bicycles and some others riding horses, a few even dressed like Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj -- the idol of all Maharashtrians, grabbing the attention of the media crews positioned strategically across south Mumbai.
3: The Mumbai Police stations over 7,000 personnel, including commandos, armed police, cops in plainclothes, assigned for providing security duties during the procession
4: Several top leaders of various political parties, including former Chief Ministers Narayan Rane and Ashok Chavan, senior Congress and Nationalist Congress Party leaders also joined the procession and interacted with the participants.
5: The procession resulted in disruptions in road and rail traffic inconveniencing millions of commuters rushing home from workplaces this evening.
6: 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
7: Devendra Fadnavis announced his government would extend to the Maratha community the educational concessions currently given to OBCs and added that a cabinet sub-committee would be set up to periodically review the issues raised by the Maratha Kranti Morcha and take necessary steps.
A sea of saffron at JJ flyover. Pic/Atul Kamble
8: Fadnavis announced hostels for Maratha students in every district with an outlay of Rs 5 crore for each, scholarships in 605 academic courses with a reduction in minimum percentage marks for eligibility, reduction in fees to benefit one million students, and giving Rs 200 crore to the Annasaheb Patil Arthik Vikas Corporation, among others.
9: A special arrangement of volunteers from Maratha Kranti Muk Morcha were also posted at the Byculla Railway station to guide the supporters coming by suburban railway
10: Bollywood actor Riteish Deshmukh also showed his support to the protest march with a tweet. "Ek Maratha, Lakh Maratha," in Marathi
11: Mumbai's famed 'Dabbawalas' (men who deliver lunchboxes), also took part in the rally
12: The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), the Mumbai Police and volunteers of the Marathi Kranti Morcha were instrumental in ensuring that the rally passed off smoothly
Maratha Morcha in Mumbai stories:
During the day, as the Maratha 'mook morcha' sailed into Mumbai from the five entry points from across the mainland, besides the railways, there were massive huge traffic jams in the city and adjacent districts of Thane, Raigad and Palghar.
The Mumbai police along with the BMC and state government was geared with over 7,000 personnel, including commandos, armed police, police in plainclothes, to provide security. Besides, metal detectors, dog squads and drones had been deployed to monitor security, water tankers and mobile toilets provided by the BMC, among other facilities.
Police made use of social media like Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, FM radios and other platforms to provide updates on traffic to the millions of office-goers in the peak morning and evening hours.
All schools and colleges in south Mumbai were ordered shut by Education Minister Vinod Tawde for the day to ensure students were not inconvenienced during the procession.
Security measures across the city
Cops in plain clothes to keep watch
Traffic CCTV cameras, drones and surveillance vans in use
Security beefed up at major railway stations
Heavy bandobast at Rani Baug, Khada Parsi Junction, Honda Corner Junction, JJ Flyover, MRA Marg (Haj house) and Azad Maidan
No. of protestors anticipated
No. of cops deployed
No. of police watchtowers
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