Seven Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) activists, who allegedly vandalised an advertising agency’s office in Vashi and assaulted three employees, were arrested by the police on Tuesday.
The employees of Ronak Advertising agency had removed the hoardings of MNS that had been erected by the party in the bus shelters along the Vashi-Koparkhairane road, to welcome their chief Raj Thackeray. That was more than enough to infuriate the activists, who wasted no time in displaying their reaction in ‘typical MNS style’.
Thackeray is scheduled to come to the city on January 26 and Tuesday’s incident is a classic example of how the party activists have been desperately trying to grab attention of the residents, days before his visit.
According to the officials from the advertising agency, they did nothing wrong by removing the hoardings of the political party. “We have taken tenders from the Navi Mumbai Municipal Transport (NMMT) to put our hoardings in their bus shelters for 10 years. Therefore, we sent two of our officials to remove the political hoardings from 40 bus shelters, that had been put up in the last couple of days,” said Amardeeep Singh, managing director of Ronak Advertising.
“As our officials reached one of the bus shelters, around 25 MNS activists surrounded them and made them sit in their vehicles. They assaulted them on their way to our office at sector 17 inside their vehicles. Upon reaching our office, they manhandled our manager, Ramesh Madivar and vandalised the office,” he said.
As the police reached the spot, 15 to 20 activists fled fearing arrest. Seven activists, including Gajanad Kale, Navi Mumbai NMS president, who were still in the office, were arrested by the police.
“We are now searching for the absconding accused, who were allegedly involved the assault and vandalising, and hope to get hold of them soon. The seven arrested men have been booked under sections 363, 452, 341, 242, 143, 147, 333, 427, 506, 37 (1 and 3) of the Indian Penal Code and relevant sections Maharashtra Police Act. They were produced before the judicial court on Wednesday,” said Ramesh More, assistant police inspector from Vashi police station.
NMMT officials, however, said that Ronak Advertising had the right to decide what to put and what to remove from the bus shelters for advertisement purposes.
“As of now we have two contractors who can put hoardings in the bus shelters and Ronak Advertising is one of them. Therefore, they had the right to remove the hoardings put by the political party,” Shirish Aradwad, who is holding additional charge in the absence of NMMT general manager GC Mangale.
Raj Thackeray is scheduled to come to the city on January 26 and Tuesday’s incident is a classic example of how the party’s activists have been desperately trying to grab attention of the residents days before his visit.