Several Maratha groups have called for a Chakka Jam (road blockade) in Maharashtra to protest against the state government’s non-implementation of their demands. While the protest has been called for demanding justice in the Kopardi gangrape and murder case, poor economic conditions of the Maratha community is also an issue. Road traffic will be affected across Maharashtra today, including in Mumbai, with the Sakal Maratha Samaj holding a ‘peaceful’ Chakka Jam protest. Here are three things to know about the Chakka Jam of January 31 in Maharashtra:
1. Maratha leaders say that the Chakka Jam agitation will be held in all districts, talukas and villages between 10 am and 2 pm in Maharashtra. Between this duration, all main roads along the national and state highways will be closed. The blockade is in full force in Kolhapur, Nanded, Aurangabad, Nagpur, Ahmednagar and Mumbai among the major places. Maharashtra ‘Chakka Jam’: Maratha protestors block roads in Mumbai, traffic snarls inconvenience Mumbaikars
2. The road blockade has been planned at 40 spots in Aurangabad, while the protest will be held at 250 places in the city. Meanwhile, the Maratha activists have prepared to block 250 points in Nanded district as well, including on the national highway. The Chakka Jam is expected to cause massive inconvenience and traffic jam. Chakka Jam Across Maharashtra called by Maratha Groups: Statewide protest against Kopardi gangrape case on 31st January
3.While the Marathas are asking for justice and the execution of all guilty in the Kopardi gangrape and murder case, they have demanded reservation for the community as well. The accused in the Kopardi gangrape and murder case are Dalits while the victim is a Maratha girl. Another demand put forth by the Maratha community is upgrading the minimum support price by 150 per cent for farmers.
After the gangrape of a minor Maratha girl in Kopardi, the Marathas began an agitation on August 9, 2016. Several protests have been scheduled till March 6, 2017, around the issue.