MUMBAI, India – Tens of thousands of people waving saffron flags are marching through Mumbai demanding quotas in government jobs and education for the Maratha community in western India.
The marchers covered a distance of more than five kilometers (3 miles) silently with no speeches or slogans raised on Wednesday. The community accounts for nearly 35 percent of western Maharashtra state's 123 million people.
Virendra Pawar, a spokesman for the Maratha Kranti Morcha, or Maratha Revolutionary Front, says the protesters are also demanding higher prices for farm produce and loan waivers for poor farmers.
The Front was launched last year by a group of Maratha organizations to protest the alleged rape and killing of a teenage Maratha girl in Ahmednagar district of the state. It later took on other causes.