Former deputy Mayor of BJP Babubhai Bhawanji was on Wednesday detained by police when he and his supporters gathered at Dadar in Central Mumbai to sit on an indefinite hunger strike for the cause of hawkers in the city.
Bhawanji, who heads the Mumbai Hawkers Unit, was detained from Veer Kotwal garden in Dadar (West) for trying to sit on fast without prior permission from the police. He was released later.
Bhawanji alleged the Shiv Sena, the BMC (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation) and police are dealing with hawkers in a cruel manner despite the Constitution granting equal rights to every citizen to practice profession of his or her choice.
He demanded hawkers should be allowed to sell their wares at skywalks in the city that are lying under-utilised until a comprehensive policy comes into force.
Mumbai city Congress president Sanjay Nirupam recently lent support of the party to hawkers in Mumbai and suburbs who were attacked by Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS).
The MNS projects itself as the true custodian of Marathi-speaking people in the city given that most of the hawkers are north Indians.
The Shiv Sena, which used to target hawkers in the past, appeared to have mellowed down a bit probably due to political expediency.