Activists of the Shiv Sena and its political rival Raj Thackeray's Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) clashed on the streets outside the Mumbai collector's office on Thursday even as party candidates were filing their nominations for the Lok Sabha polls.
The party workers from both the sides pelted stones and threw soda bottles on each other. A cameraman from a Marathi news channel was injured in the altercation. The police had to retort with lathi charge to disperse the crowd.
Both parties blamed each other for initiating the violence. The Shiv Sena’s South Mumbai candidate Arvind Sawant and the MNS candidate from South-Central Mumbai, Aditya Shirodkar, reached the Mumbai collector office at the Old Custom House on Thursday morning to file their nomination forms.
Hundreds of activists from both the parties had gathered outside the Old Custom House. The initial slogan-shouting took an ugly turn and the activists soon turned violent.
“A huge mob was waiting for us when we reached the collector’s office. They started creating chaos and police took no action against them,” claimed Anil Desai, Sena MP, who accompanied the Sena candidate to file the nominations. According to the Sena, soda water bottles were thrown at them from the other side and they were left with no option but to retaliate. “They were not MNS activists, but they had brought goons,” Mr. Desai alleged.
The MNS however, has refuted the allegation. “There was slogan shouting when we came to file nomination. We never expected to go this up to such an extent. What has happened is unfortunate,” said Nitin Sardesai, MNS MLA, who was with Mr. Shirodkar while filing the nomination.
Ravindra Shisve, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone 1) said that the police will take strong action against the party activists. “We also appeal to the electronic media houses to give us video recording so that we can nail the guilty,” he said.