मराठी क्रांती (मूक) मोर्चा Maratha Kranti Morcha, What do they really want?

MARATHA KRANTI MORCHA मराठी क्रांती (मूक) मोर्चा are series of silent demonstrations happening across Maharashtra by Maratha community.

Kopardi gangrape and murder — The trigger

On 13 July, a 15-year-old Maratha girl was allegedly gang raped and murdered by four Dalit youths who inflicted injuries all over her body and broke her limbs before throttling her at Kopardi village in Ahmednagar.

“The incident took place on 13 July between 6.45 pm and 7.30 pm when the victim was returning after meeting her grandfather. She was accosted by three accused who gangraped her violently before throttling her to death. Her both shoulders were found to be dislocated,” Ahmednagar district Superintendent of Police Saurabh Tripathi had told PTI.

Reports had also said that the flesh from all over the victim’s body, including her genitals, were torn. Her hair had been pulled out, hands were dislocated from the shoulders, her teeth were smashed and she was strangled to death after rape.

The protests and the demands

After the gangrape, Maratha Kranti silent morchas were held in Akola, Nanded, Beed, Osmanabad, Aurangabad, Jalgaon and Jalna districts over the last one month. They had received huge response, forcing all political parties to take note of the community’s grievances.

Typically people gather at at a starting place on a pre-decided date and time. Then walk silently to the district headquarter or a city center where a memorandum of demands is handed over to district administration by youth.

The main demands are

1- Justice to Kopardi rape-murder victim: the body of the 14-year-old girl’s discovered in Karjat’s Kopardi village (Ahmednagar district in maharashtra) on July 13. According to the police, the victim who was returning home after visiting her grandparents in the same locality, was stopped by three men on the way who raped the girl and then strangled her. The post-mortem confirmed that she had been raped and brutally beaten up. Her limbs had fractured, arms dislocated from shoulders, and the body had human bite marks all over.

Police said she was killed by strangulation

2-Change in Atrocity act to avoid its misuse: The crime has caused quite a stir in Ahmednagar district, especially among members of the Maratha community. The victim belonged to a Maratha family while the alleged perpetrators belonged to Mahar caste, a Dalit community. There is a widespread feeling among Maratha community that atrocity act deters people from reporting crimes against dalits due to the fear of fake retaliatory complaints under atrocities act.

3-Reservation for Maratha under OBC: Jats of northern India, gurjars of Rajasthan, patels of Gujrat and Maratha of Maharashtra are traditional farming communities. Once the dominant communities of rural heartlands, they no longer enjoy the same status. Hence the demand for reservation is getting stronger. The Kopardi case presented a forum for Maratha community to unite and present their long standing demand

Besides these 3, there are other demands too. Future “Maratha Kranti Morcha” are planned on

19th Sep — Jalna

23rd Sep — Ahmednagar

24th Sep — Nasik

25th Sep — Pune