Members of Nitesh Rane's Swabhiman Sanghatana were involved in a violent clash with Shiv Sena activists outside a luxury hotel in Worli on Thursday afternoon, that resulted in injuries to at least eight people, among them three policemen.
The policemen were hurt in stone pelting as they tried to stop the violence.
The Swabhiman Sanghatana members had stepped out of the Four Seasons hotel after a meeting with the management about the workers request to set up a union under the banner of the Maharashtra Samartha Kamgar Sena (MSKS), when a group of Shiv Sena activists standing outside began shouting slogans.
Almost immediately there was some stone pelting. Police sub-inspector Rohit Narvekar was one of those injured. The Worli police have registered a case of rioting under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code.
The police said it was not clear what sparked off the violence. But it appears the issue was about who will represent the hotel's employees.
Nitesh, who is son of state industries minister Narayan Rane, said the hotel employees had approached the MSKS to take up their issues before the management and that a delegation had met hotel officials on Thursday about this. He claimed that one of his members was stabbed in the clash.
"The meeting was decided earlier. If they (Shiv Sena) wanted to form a union they should have called on the management and proved their majority," Rane said,
Suryakant Mahadik, head of the Bharatiya Kamgar Sena (BKS), the Shiv Sena's workers' wing, said that the hotel management had invited the BKS for a discussion on the charter of demands of the employees. He alleged that Rane instigated the violence.
He said Nitesh was worried that the Shiv Sena had been able to win back leaders like Jaywant Parab and Shrikant Sarmalkar, who had quit the party to join Narayan Rane in 2005.