Traffic movement affected across Mumbai as Marathas call for ‘Chakka Jam’
Maratha groups called for a Chakka Jam (road blockade) across Maharashtra on Tuesday to protest against the non-implementation of their demands by the state government.
The call to protest was made by Sakal Maratha Samaj, the umbrella organization representing around 40 smaller pro-Maratha outfits.
While the primary reason for protesting is to demand immediate justice in the Kopardi rape-murder case, the list also includes amendment in the Prevention of Atrocities Act to prevent misuse, reservation for Marathas in educational institutions, along with other initiatives directed to economically uplift the community.
The protests, or Chakka Jam, will be implemented between 10 AM in the morning to 2 PM in the afternoon across the state, including major cities like Mumbai, Pune, Kolhapur, Nanded, Aurangabad, Nagpur, Ahmednagar and others.
The blockade is expected to affect traffic movement on state and national highways.
According to one of the organizers, Santosh Gavhane Patil, the protests will be held in Mumbai in two phases. In some areas, the protests will start at 9 am and continue on till 11 am, whereas it will start at 10 am and culminate at noon in others.
In Mumbai, the Marathas staged protests in areas like Dadar, Parel, Chembur, Ghatkopar, Hindmata, Kandivali, Kurla LBS, Anushakti Nagar, Dombivali and a few others, leading to traffic snarls.
Despite heavy police presence, one of the worst affected areas was near Dahisar check naka, where traffic had come to a standstill for a few minutes. There are also reports of two protesters being arrested at Matunga, but a confirmation is awaited.
— Hajra Bi (@sayyedhajra) January 31, 2017
Meanwhile, many Mumbaikars who were taken by surprise during their morning commute took to social media to vent their ire at the chaos.
The Maratha agitation began in August last year following the gangrape of a minor Maratha girl in Kopardi. It later escalated into a state-wide protest, with the community demanding reservation and other benefits.
Although all protests since then have been peaceful in nature, the protesters have warned that the forthcoming rally on March 6 in Mumbai will be the last peaceful one.
— Kavita sharma (@thekavitasharma) January 31, 2017