Nirupam demands strict action against the accused responsible for attack.
After its dismal performance in the Lok Sabha, assembly, Aurangabad and Navi Mumbai civic polls the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) has once again reverted back to its old agenda of hatred politics. MNS workers assaulted hawkers hailing from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar in Jogeshwari suburb of the city. They claimed that hawkers were running illegal vending business and were causing inconvenience to the pedestrians. Thus the MNS has once again started playing the Marathi card by targeting north Indians. Around 20 to 30 MNS workers arrived at Jogeshwari and after shouting slogans began beating up the hawkers. According to police, the four accused had bashed up local hawkers and vandalised their stalls while threatening to hurt them if they reappeared at the place.
Navnath Kadam, MNS Divisional Head from Jogeshwari said, “Most of the north Indians owns four to ten businesses in the city. We will not allow them to run their business as they are snatching the livelihood of locals. We will continue to assault them in future too.”
Mumbai Congress Chief, Sanjay Nirupam said, “The police have not arrested anybody in this matter. I am appealing to the Maharashtra government for taking strict against the accused responsible for this incident. The hawkers work hard in the city to earn their livelihood.”
“Even though the UPA government had passed the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act 2014 but the Fadnavis government is yet to form a town vending committee and demarcate separate spaces for hawkers.”
Four persons–Priyesh Jaisawal, Navnath Kadam, Sohan Sahu and Lahu–were booked for beating, rioting and intimidating the hawkers following the incident, police said.
A case has been registered under sections 143 (punishment), 145 (joining or continuing in unlawful assembly), 147 (rioting), 149 (every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object), 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) of IPC against the absconding accused and searches have been intensified to nab them, they said.
“All the accused have switched off their mobile phones and are at large. But we hope to track down and nab them soon,” said a police officer attached with Jogeshwari police station, where the case has been registered.
“We have learnt that out of the four accused, there are few cases against two of them, which we are in process of ascertaining,” added the official.
Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner of Zone 10, Vinayak Deshmukh visited the area and took stock of the situation. He however denied reports that the attackers belonged to the MNS.
“The accused have no backing from any party and rumours that MNS workers beat North Indians are baseless as out of four accused, two are North Indians,” he said.