40 MNS workers detained in Dadar: Congress, BJP demand action against ‘MNS goons’

40 MNS workers detained in Dadar: Congress, BJP demand action against 'MNS goons'
Dozens of MNS workers have been detained or arrested for forcefully evicting hawkers from outside railway stations in Mumbai and Thane (Picture Courtesy: Suresh Jadhav)

Despite the arrest of dozens of party workers across Mumbai and Thane, MNS continued its protest against illegal hawkers outside Dadar railway stations on Wednesday.

The workers of Raj Thackeray-led MNS had earlier sought police permission for organising a ‘silent protest’ in Dadar.

However, even after being denied permission, the workers gathered near Suvidha and Nakshatra malls in Dadar today morning to stage their protest.

In no time, multiple police vans reached the spot and detained the protestors. Around 40 workers were detained, confirmed Rajiv Jain, DCP (Zone 5).

Opposition demands action:

Over the last 48 hours, leaders from both Congress and BJP have demanded action against the illegal actions and high handedness of MNS workers.

On Tuesday, Congress leaders Sanjay Nirupam and Naseem Khan demanded that the rights of the hawkers be protected and action be taken against the MNS ‘goons’. Nirupam is also slated to meet hawkers who were allegedly thrashed by MNS workers in Kandivali.

Today, a delegation of BJP leaders led by Maharashtra minister of state Vidya Thakur met Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and submitted to him a letter against the MNS action.

The delegation apprised the CM about how MNS hooligans had beaten hawkers and taken law into their hands. They further alleged that the hawkers, mostly belonging to north India, were shocked and petrified due to the MNS action.

Past protests:

In the wake of the Elphinstone Road station foot overbridge (FOB) stampede on September 29, in which 23 people had died, the MNS had given a fifteen-day ultimatum to the railway administration and the police to clear the foot overbridges of illegal hawkers.

The party had warned that if the authorities fail to evict hawkers by October 20, it would take the responsibility upon itself to remove them from the foot overbridges.

After the deadline was over, the party workers started by evicting hawkers from Thane railway station. The subsequent police intervention led to the arrest of their president Avinash Jadhav.

Since then, a total of 23 MNS workers have been arrested from Kalyan and Dombivali railway stations. A dozen more were arrested when the party workers tried to drive out illegal hawkers from Mumbai Central, Kandivali and Santacruz stations.

With agency inputs

Although some workers had reportedly manhandled and assaulted hawkers, most have been booked for rioting alone. Meanwhile, a group of aggrieved hawkers has lodged a complaint against the MNS workers at Vakola police station.

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