30 MNS workers arrested for vandalising 4 toll plazas

Jan 28, 2014, 07:27 IST | Salil Urunkar

Representatives of Raj Thackeray's party vandalised toll plazas at Bavdhan, Manjri, Urse and Moshi; 83 others were detained while they were planning to attack Perne, Khed toll booths. Reliance company office also damaged, as they operate Khed-Shivapur toll plaza

A Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) lady corporator is among the 30 Pune-based party workers who were arrested yesterday by the police for damaging four toll plazas in and around the city in 24 hours.

Keeping watch: Following the attack on toll booths, police personnel were deployed at Bavdhan toll plaza yesterday. Pic/Krunal Gosavi
Keeping watch: Following the attack on toll booths, police personnel were deployed at Bavdhan toll plaza yesterday. Pic/Krunal Gosavi

Acting on the party president Raj Thackeray’s order to create ruckus at toll plazas if toll fees are charged in any part of the state, the workers caused considerable damage to the tollbooths.

A Reliance company office, which operates the Khed-Shivapur toll plaza on Pune-Satara highway, was also targeted during the agitation.

Pune Rural and city police have registered FIR’s against the concerned MNS workers at respective police stations.

Meanwhile, the court took a serious note of attempts to vandalise public property and remanded MNS Corporator Rupali Patil and six other activists in police custody for two days.

The accused had allegedly damage the Bavdhan toll plaza near Chandani Chowk on Sunday night at around 11.25 pm.

Patil and the other accused were identified from the CCTV footage installed at Bavdhan toll plaza. Police inspector Parshuram Patil, of Hinjewadi police station, said, “The concerned company has permission to collect toll till February 2014.

A letter regarding this was produced in the court. The court granted us police custody of the accused for the purpose of recovering the iron rods, sticks and vehicles used by them while committing the offence.”

“We have now provided adequate security to the toll plaza premises, including an officer and four police constables. The toll collection activity has resumed,” he added.

Toll plazas at Manjri on the Pune-Solapur road, Moshi on Pune-Nashik road, Urse on Pune-Mumbai expressway and the Reliance office near Jambhulwadi tunnel on Pune-Satara highway were also vandalised by the MNS workers. MNS activists had attempted to protest at the Khed-Shivapur toll plaza and Perne phata on Pune-Nagar road, but timely detention of the workers by the Pune Rural police prevented any loss to property.

Superintendent of Police (Pune Rural) Manojkumar Lohiya said, “One suspect has been arrested and five names of his accomplices have been revealed in the Urse toll plaza case. 15 persons have been arrested in the Moshi toll plaza incident, while 33 persons were detained at Perne phata and 50 at Khed-Shivapur toll plaza.”

“We can allow peaceful protests, but if anyone takes the law into their own hands, then we will register FIR’s and take further suitable legal action,” Lohiya said.

Deputy SP Ravindrasinh Pardeshi said, “Five women and two men have been arrested in the Manjri toll plaza incident. The incident took place at around 2 pm when the suspects came on their bikes and started pelting stones at the toll booth.”

‘Toll-collecting companies offices will also be targeted’

City vice-president of the MNS students wing, Ajay Shinde said, “Not only toll booths, we will also target offices of the concerned companies that are collecting toll on various roads. We have already vandalised the Reliance company office on Monday afternoon.”

The number of MNS party workers who were detained at Perne phata and at Khed-Shivapur toll plaza, according to sources

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