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Nanar refinery protest: MNS men ransack company office

Nanar projectA day after Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray came out strongly against the proposed Nanar refinery project in the coastal Konkan region, activists of his party allegedly vandalised the office of the associated company in south Mumbai.

MNS workers circulated the video of the purported incident on the social media.

In the two-minute clip, a few men wearing MNS scarves are seen entering the office and smashing the glass doors and other furniture using stones, before leaving the spot.

When contacted, Deputy Commissioner of Police Sachin Patil said the police have reached the spot in Tardeo area and are conducting a preliminary investigation into the matter.

He said prima facie around six people were involved in the incident though the exact number of vandals is being ascertained.

Addressing a rally in a city suburb on Sunday night, Thackeray had said the proposed project would not be allowed to come up in Nanar in the ecologically-sensitive Ratnagiri district.

The Rs 3-trillion project envisages setting up of the world’s largest refinery complex in the coastal district.

Farmers and fishermen opposing the project had met leaders, including the MNS chief, across the political spectrum to solicit support for the agitation against the refinery.

Meanwhile, MNS leader Sandeep Deshpande justified Monday’s incident.

“We want to express our concern for the project in the language understood by the state government. Our party chief Raj Thackeray had criticised this project in his speech and our workers acted,” said Deshpande.

He said the MNS would step up the protests if the government insisted upon going ahead with the project.

While Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has backed the project saying it would generate employment opportunities for local youths, the BJP’s alliance partner, the Shiv Sena, has strongly opposed the refinery.

Maharashtra Congress unit president Ashok Chavan had said the government should accept the fact that local residents were against the project.

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