MNS toll agitation: What transpired at the toll nakas
In some pockets of Mumbai and the outskirts, the MNS workers restored to minor incidents of violence. However the vigilant cops ensured that protests did not escalate into violence. Here's a look at what transpired
Thane toll plaza
Workers shut shops after Thackeray’s detention
Around 20 workers of the MNS’ women’s wing showed up at the Modela toll naka on LBS Marg in Mulund (West) and Thane (West) to protest against the toll regime.
Members of the women’s wing of the MNS protested at the toll plaza in Mulund (West) and asked people not to pay toll. They were detained and sent to Thane police station in a bus. Pic/Sameer Markande
The protests started at 9.30 am and the women asked all people on the road not to pay toll. Within 15 minutes, the police detained them and took them to Thane police station in a bus. There were more than 100 policemen on the road. No damage was seen on the toll naka there.
After Raj Thackeray was held by the cops at Chembur around 11 am, 20 supporters of Bhandup MLA Shishir Shinde downed shutters of roadside shops in Mulund (East). The shops reopened around 3.30 pm after Thackeray’s release. It was smooth sailing at the toll plaza on the Eastern Express Highway, which saw no protests or violence. The police stayed on till the afternoon to make sure peace prevailed.
Vashi toll plaza
100 workers detained at Mathadi Bhavan
The Vashi toll plaza saw tight security 7 am onwards yesterday, since it was the location MNS chief Raj Thackeray had planned to visit to protest against toll collection. Right from the tollbooth on the Sion-Panvel highway till the Vashi creek, cops were detaining any party worker found moving about suspiciously.
About 100 MNS party workers protesting at the Vashi toll plaza were detained by the police and sent to Mathadi Bhavan yesterday. Pic/Shadab Khan
Cops had hired special buses from the Navi Mumbai Municipal Transport for the detention of workers creating problems. While NMMT withdrew its fleet of 30 Volvo buses for the day, the 336 regular buses operated as usual. The windshield of one of the buses was shattered by two men on a motorcycle, claimed NMMT authorities.
Shrikant Pathak, Navi Mumbai’s DCP (Crime), said, “A few party workers were found hiding in the bushes near Vashi creek; they were detained. We had taken 10 buses from NMMT to detain troublemakers. They were all taken to Mathadi Bhavan,” said Pathak.
Since police lock-ups couldn’t hold so many, the nearly 100 party workers were detained at Mathadi Bhavan. Poonam Durgawale, a party worker from Sewri, said, “We have come here to protest against the toll policy.”
Mankhurd police detained 68 workers, which included 16 women. They were picked up while heading towards the toll naka at 9.45 am and were released only at 2 pm.
No of cops that were deployed from the tollbooth on the Sion-Panvel highway till the Vashi creek
BP station, Chembur
Monorail services at BP station disrupted
Monorail services were disrupted at Bharat Petroleum (BP) station around 1 pm yesterday. The station, which is a stone’s throw from RCF police station where MNS chief Raj Thackeray was detained for more than two hours, was thronged by his supporters after he was released at around 1 pm yesterday.
Monorail turns away commuters due to overcrowding
Around 1.15 pm, the rail authorities shut token counters and asked commuters to exit, more than an hour before the monorail’s closing time, due to overcrowding. While a few got the tokens, most were disgruntled at being left to find other means of transport.
This was my first time at a Monorail station and I was extremely disappointed to know that people were being turned away due to overcrowding. - Gulzar Solkar (37), Antop Hill resident
I waited in the line for almost half an hour and just when I thought I would be one of the lucky ones to get a token, the ticket counter was closed. - Rahul Gupta (18), commuter
Vikhroli/Eastern Express Highway
47 arrested for rioting, 51 detained
About 70 MNS supporters staged a protest near Vikhroli on the Eastern Express Highway, causing a huge traffic jam that lasted for more than an hour. They also punctured the tyres of heavy vehicles on the highway, said people on the spot.
Traffic jam on the Eastern Express Highway. Pic/Suresh KK
Vikhroli police officials registered a case against local MLAs Mangesh Sangle, Shishir Shinde and 45 workers for rioting. An officer, requesting anonymity, said, “The protest was initiated by Shishir Shinde near Kanjurmarg junction on the Eastern Express Highway. Half an hour later, Sangle started his protests at Kannamwar Nagar junction in Vikhroli (East).
The two, along with their associates, were arrested around 10 am for rioting under sections 68 and 69 of the Bombay Police Act.” All 47 were produced in court and bailed for a bond of Rs 5,000. Ghatkopar based MLA, Ram Kadam, was detained even before he could begin with his agitations, as Parksite police in Vikhroli took precautionary measures and picked him up before 10 am yesterday. Parksite police officials detained around 51 MNS workers and released them around 2 pm. - Khushboo Ratda, Sagar Rajput
I was stuck in traffic for more than an hour as the MNS people were protesting on the road. They were deflating the tyres of trucks, and this went on for 30 minutes till the protesters were arrested. - Surender Singh Suri, Mulund resident