It's not very often that celebrities and politicians are stopped in their tracks. However, yesterday, director and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena’s (MNS) Lok Sabha candidate from Mumbai North West, Mahesh Manjrekar, was stopped by the police and not allowed to enter Raj Thackeray’s rally in Pune.
Cops surrounded MNS candidate Mahesh Manjrekar and did not allow him into the venue
Thousands of people turned up at Mutha riverbank at Deccan area to catch Thackeray’s first election campaign rally in the city. Just like the others, Manjrekar, along with his wife and 10-12 supporters, also travelled from Mumbai to the city to attend their leader’s rally.
After around 10 minutes of pleading and persuasion, Manjrekar and his wife were granted entry to Raj’s rally at the Mutha riverbank. Pics/Mohan Patil
When he reached the lane towards Jangli Maharaj Road from the Mutha riverbank road, reserved for VVIP entries like MNS leaders, around 7.10 pm, he was stopped by cops and asked for identification. However, Manjrekar didn’t have any on him, and hence was denied entry to the rally.
The cops said that as a security measure, they could only allow those who had security passes and hence, could not allow Manjrekar to go ahead. Fortunately for him, a few other MNS volunteers came to the aid of Manjrekar. After much convincing from the volunteers, cops finally gave Manjrekar permission to go ahead.
An official from Deccan police station said, “We had been instructed not to allow anyone without relevant security passes to enter the reserved lane.
Only those who were going to be up on stage or in the VIP section were to be allowed through the lane. Even journalists weren’t allowed. Manjrekar had come along with 10-12 supporters. However, we requested him to only take three or four followers with him, as a precautionary measure.”
When mid-day contacted Manjrekar, he said the police were doing their job, and that they were very polite. “The policemen were very courteous.
There was a huge crowd at the venue. Police were only concerned about the number of people from Mumbai entering with me, and in order to avoid any problem at the venue, asked me to reduce my entourage,” he told this correspondent.