A day after MNS chief Raj Thackeray fuelled the Marathi debate again, asking his party workers to burn auto rickshaws and taxis belonging to non-Maharashtrians, a brand new auto was set ablaze opposite Andheri RTO last night by miscreants. While the culprits remain unidentified, eyewitnesses said they were shouting MNS slogans.
The brand new auto was parked outside Andheri RTO
Around 10.45 pm, a new auto rickshaw that was parked opposite the Andheri RTO near Citi Mall was set on fire. Locals say that around five people had arrived at the spot in a car, thrown petrol on the rickshaw and then set it on fire. They shouted MNS slogans and escaped in the same car. Locals shot photographs and a video of the burning auto, which later went viral on WhatsApp.
Joint Commissioner of Police (Law & Order) Deven Bharti told mid-day that the police are not sure who did it. The police have launched an investigation into the incident.
On Wednesday, MNS chief Raj was speaking at an event to commemorate 10 years since the party’s establishment, when he raked up the ‘Marathi manoos’ issue again and instructed his supporters to torch new autos belonging to ‘outsiders’. “The government is going to issue 70,000 new rickshaw permits to outsiders that should have been given to Marathi youths. If you see a new auto on the road, stop it, ask the passengers to get down and burn it,” he had told his supporters.
However, he specified that party workers should only burn the rickshaws of non-Maharashtrians, adding that they should safely remove the passengers first.
The Amboli police are investigating several angles, including whether it was deliberate mischief by any anti-MNS elements in the area.
MNS workers hold a morcha outside Andheri RTO . Pic/ Nimesh Dave