Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) party workers are at it again. Suspected MNS activists allegedly vandalised a toll plaza at Kheregaon in Thane on the Mumbai-Nasik highway on Thursday after an argument between a female party worker and toll booth employees over tariff payment escalated.
The incident was triggered after workers at the booth asked MNS leader Kshagupta Pimple to pay the mandatory road tax, according to sources.
Pimple is the vice-president of Kalyan unit of MNS and was on her way to Kalwa police station to lodge her complaint for the loss of her mobile phone, sources said.
The incident happened as one of the staffers at the booth allegedly abused her as well as MNS chief Raj Thackeray, which resulted in a clash.
According to a local MNS activist, “A woman office bearer of MNS, who is Kalyan resident, was on her way back home when she was stopped at the toll plaza and a debate ensued. The toll booth operators abused our woman office bearer during the debate, after which our party workers reached the toll plaza.”
Interestingly, at the time of the incident, the convoy of MNS chief Raj Thackeray, who was on his way to Nasik, was also passing via the same route.
“As there were many party workers present at the spot, Rajsaheb’s convoy went ahead and stopped to see what had happened. Later, the women narrated the entire incident to our leader after which he promised her that he would take up this issue with the concerned officials. But in the meantime all this was happening. The police officials lathicharged and this escalated the incident,” claimed one of the MNS party worker who was accompanying the MNS supremo.
Speaking to MiD DAY, a cop with the Kalwa police station said, “Around 4-4.30 pm, the MNS party workers vandalised the toll booth because one of their female party workers was verbally abused by the toll plaza operators at 2 pm on Thursday over the payment of toll charges. We have already arrested 13-16 party workers for this and FIR is being registered.”