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Muslim Reservation March crosses halfway mark, 06 marchers fall ill
Thursday May 23, 2013 4:10 PM , ummid.com Staff Reporter

Braving intense heat and soaring temperature the 'Muslim Reservation March' crossed the halfway mark to Mumbai and reached Kasara on Thursday. The 'Paidal March' which started from Malegaon last Friday has covered a distance of around 165 kms so far in seven days.

More than 2000 people have so far been walking to Mumbai with more and more people joining the march as it crosses through different cities and towns.

Due to severe heat, six people have fallen ill. They were forcibly taken into the custody of the police and were admitted in a local hospital. Many others are injured with their feet swelling and bleeding due to heat. But, the enthusiasm is palpable and the marchers refused to call off the march unless their demands were met.

Senior Community Leader Abdul Hameed azhari also joined the march in Agatpuri and walked with them for few kms. He also addressed the protestors and congratulated them for participating in the historic march.

Earlier, Teesra Mahaz leader Narendra Sonawane had joined the march in Nashik and walked with them in solidarity.

The march was also greeted by a huge number of Hindus especially from Dalit parties.

The March is expected to reach Bhiwandi tomorrow where plans for a huge public meeting are underway.

Asif Shaikh Rasheed, convener of the Muslim Reservation Federation (MRF) who is leading the march, alleged that the Nashik police at the behest of the state government was trying to create hurdles for the 'peaceful march'.

"Earlier, the District Superintendent of Police (SP) Praveen Podwal delayed the permission to cross from Nashik. Later, he backtracked and said he needed to consult higher authorities before granting a permission", Asif Shaikh said while talking to ummid.com.

He also expressed surprise that even after seven days of their march no government official or minister has come to meet them.

"So far the government has blatantly ignored our peaceful march and no one has come to meet us. But, we will be gathering in a huge number in Mumbai and forced the government to bow to our demands", he said.

The Muslim community is demanding ever since independence reservation in government jobs and other public sector departments. The Muslim Reservation Federation (MRF) decided for the paidal-march from Malegaon to Mumbai on March 29, 2013 demanding 20% reservation for Muslims.

In another development, the women folks of the Muslim Reservation Federation (MRF) activists who are walking to Mumbai, hit the roads on Wednesday and blocked the Old Agra Road. They too were government's apathy towards the marchers.

"Male members of our families are walking to Mumbai in this intense heat. But, the shameless government has not shown any care to talk to them on their demand", Tahira Shaikh Rasheed, who is mayor of the Malegaon Municipal Corporation (MMC) said.

"I am not here as mayor of the city. I am here as an ordinary citizen of this country to express my support to the Muslim Reservation March and protest the government's apathy towards us", she said.

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