After an overwhelming show of strength by the agitating Maratha community on Wednesday, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has agreed to their main demands.
Tens of thousands of people waving saffron flags marched through Mumbai early in the day in what was the Maratha community's 58th protest in a year, demanding quotas in government jobs and education, as well as justice in the brutal gang rape of a 14-year-old Maratha girl.
The day-long protest forced Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announce a slew of measures to pacify the powerful community.
CM Devendra Fadnavis promised Marathas concession in fees to 605 educational courses, interest-free loans up to Rs10 lakh for self-employment, Rs5 crore to each district for the construction of hostels and setting up of a district-wise committee to decide on cases filed under the Atrocities Act.
Regarding the demand for job reservation, the state government has formed a backward class commission to study the grounds on which reservation can be given to the politically active Maratha community.
More than 10,000 police personnel, several drones and CCTV cameras kept watch over Mumbai today, as six lakh people took to the streets to participate in the Maratha Kranti Morcha.
The silent protest march began at 11am from Byculla and ended around 5pm at Azad Maidan.
The Maratha community accounts for nearly 35 per cent of Maharashtra's 123 million people.
This was the 58th march of the Maratha community, exactly a year after the first such protest held in Aurangabad. The march has been organised by the Sakal Maratha Samaj, an umbrella organisation of several Maratha groups.
These 'mook morcha' or silent rallies were held in various parts of the state following the brutal rape and murder of a 14-year-old girl, belonging to the Maratha community, at Kopardi village in Ahmednagar district in July 2016.