Mumbai

MNS workers vandalise stalls, evict hawkers from railway premises

Party chief Raj Thackeray had set a 15-day deadline for officials to act against illegal vendors; NCP, Congress allege MNS and CM Fadnavis are working hand in glove

About 25 workers of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) vandalised stalls run by unauthorised hawkers on Satis bridge outside Thane railway station on Saturday morning.

Following the death of 23 people in a stampede at Elphinstone Road station, party chief Raj Thackeray had met railway officials on October 5 and set a 15-day deadline to evict illegal hawkers from the premises of stations.

Thane police said a group of protesters reached the station on Saturday morning and started attacking hawkers. Senior Police Inspector M.V. Dharmadhikari of Thane Nagar police station said, “Two stalls outside the station were damaged, but we dispersed the mob immediately. We have registered an offence under the Bombay Police Act.”

MNS leader Sandeep Deshpande said party workers also ensured that no hawkers sold their wares at Ghatkopar and Dadar railway stations. He said, “All hawkers cleared out when word spread that our workers were taking strict action against them.” Mumbai Police spokesperson DCP Deepa Deoraj said no instances of violence were reported in the city.

Meanwhile, the Congress and the NCP slammed the MNS for forcibly evicting hawkers and claimed that Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis was working ‘hand in glove’ with the party.

Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam said, “The Chief Minister was aware of the threats issued by Raj Thackeray and should have rounded up MNS workers before they took action. He is hand in glove with the MNS, that is why north Indians are allowed to be tortured.”

Mr. Nirupam said the government had failed to enforce the Street Vendors Act, which seeks to protect hawkers. He said, “If the law was enforced, illegal street vendors would have been evicted. However, the Chief Minister is protecting goondaism. The Congress will hold protests to protect the rights of vendors.”

NCP leader Dhananjay Munde said, “The Chief Minister is keeping quiet despite Raj Thackeray’s men indulging in violence. Are they in connivance?”

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Printable version | Jun 4, 2020 5:30:12 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/mns-workers-vandalise-stalls-evict-hawkers-from-railway-premises/article19899190.ece

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