The much-debated Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act in Maharashtra is again in the news. With much uproar already about the SC, ST Act, the Maratha Kranti Morcha has again raised its voice for its review. The pro-Maratha group is demanding certain changes in the amendment of the Act claiming that it is being misused.
According to The Indian Express, the Maratha Kranti Morcha that took out one of the largest protest rallies in Mumbai last year, said that it doesn’t want the Act to be scrapped but wanted certain changes in the amendment. “We are only demanding that false cases should be stopped and for that, the state government can amend some provisions of the Act,” Ajay Bhosale, one of the Morcha leaders was quoted as saying by IE.
Mumbai woke up on August 9 to one of the biggest protests in the city by Maratha Kranti Morcha. The group which had organised 57 protests last year, according to The Indian Express, was on the streets to seek reservations in jobs and education for the Maratha community among other demands. Lakhs of people took to streets to support the protest and to deal with the alarming situation, Central Railway had to make elaborate arrangements. The group had put forth 22 demands which included reservation for the community in government jobs and education, death sentence for the accused in the Kopardi rape case and dilution of the Prevention of Atrocities against Scheduled Caste and Tribes Act. The Maratha Kranti Morcha, a group of Maratha community has been protesting and organising silent rallies across the state with each district witnessing a large number of people participating. The group held its first protest last year when a minor girl from the community was brutally raped and murdered in Kopardi in Ahmednagar. The protest which had started at the local level soon turned into statewide protests.
The Maratha morcha delegation had met Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis after which the Maharashtra government said it wants the Centre to amend the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act so that the law is not misused. On September 26, Fadnavis said his government was committed to fulfilling the Maratha community’s demand for reservation.