With the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena and the Nationalist Congress Party locking horns over some remarks made by Raj Thackeray about the NCP’s Pawars, some overzealous MNS cadres staged a farcical anger on the streets of the city, burning banners and used-up cars.
On Wednesday, things took a volatile turn in Mumbai and other parts of the state after NCP workers pelted stones at MNS chief Raj Thackeray’s convoy in Ahmednagar the day before. To retaliate, rather to please their chief, some MNS henchman bought a rattletrap of a car from a scrap dealer and set it on fire on LBS Marg in Kurla. Four persons were arrested from the spot after the incident.
They were identified as Mustaki Ahmad Ali Shaikh (40), Arun Abdul Hussain Shaikh (40), Asif Ali Murtuja Shaikh (24) and Shanhan Asif Ali Turki (29). In all, more than 20 people were arrested for demonstrations at Kurla and Khar. According to the police officials, burning the car was a planned stunt, as Mustaki and Arun allegedly bought the car and drove it to the spot, while their colleagues were waiting for them with fuel at Belgrami Road junction.
Assistant Commissioner of Police (Kurla Division) Prabhakar Satam said, “We are verifying from whom the four arrested accused bought the car, as Mustaki and Arun drove the car to the spot and the other two were waiting at the spot with petrol in order to burn it.” He added, “Their aim was to create disharmony in the city. While burning the car, Arun injured his leg.”
According to ACP Satam, VB Nagar police have also arrested 11 people for unlawful assembly at LBS Marg near Kamran Hotel. A police team arrived at the spot before they could burn effigies of Ajit Pawar. Six people identified as Ram Kadam, Suresh Malkar, Rajesh Chakre, Ashok Dube, Vishal Kamble and Chetan Palande were arrested by the Khar police for burning NCP banners on Linking Road. Two other cases of stone pelting were registered in Antop Hill and Bandra police stations.
Thackeray had recently criticised NCP chief Sharad Pawar and his nephew, deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar, for the drought-like situation in parts of the state. Enraged, NCP activists on Tuesday pelted stones on Thackeray’s convoy, provoking the MNS to react violently.