Mumbai: Reviving its offensive against north Indians, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena activists beat up north Indian aspirants appearing for the Railway Recruitment Board entrance exam for the Western region, in Mumbai on Sunday.
They also created a ruckus outside exam centres, blocked roads and raised anti-north Indian slogans. They wanted Marathi people to be recruited.
This was an all-India entrance exam and candidates from across the country were eligible to apply. “When there is availability here why should people from outside be called?” said MNS general secretary Nitin Sardesai. “They come here and are living on the platforms.”
The scene outside the railway booking hall at Thane east station was chaotic as MNS men assaulted north Indian candidates here too. Around 50 to 60 people, who were sleeping on the platform, were beaten with lathis and chased away.
Cases of rioting under sections 143, 147, 159 and 323 have been registered against six “unknown persons” based on the footage from the closed circuit television at the station.
C. Pitambaram, senior public relations officer of Central Railways said that there were “problems at five centres in Dombivili, one in Kalyan, both in Thane district, and two in Kanjurmarg, Mumbai. However, we called the police and there is no problem on the central side.” MNS activists also protested at Navi Mumbai centres —Vashi, Nerul and Solapur — where two were reportedly arrested.
PTI reports from Thane:
Maharashra Home Minister R.R. Patil assured a delegation of Uttar Bharatiya Cell of the BJP on Sunday that the government would give jobs to the north Indian candidates who could not appear for the exams due to the trouble created by MNS activists.
Corrections and Clarifications
(The caption of a combo standalone photograph titled "MNS targets jobaspirants" (October 20, 2008) was "Victims Again: Shiv Sena and MNSactivists attack candidates who came for a railway board examination at theThane railway station .." It should have been a Railway Recruitment Boardexamination. The Railway Board is different from the Railway RecruitmentBoard.)