MUMBAI: After a few deaths in road accidents due to potholes in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Kalyan, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) protested against the civic body and State government on Tuesday. Some party workers protested against the government agencies’ apathy by damaging the footpath near the Mantralaya in protest against the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and the Public Works Department (PWD) of State for pathetic condition of the roads in Mumbai.
About 20 MNS workers gathered at Mantralaya and started to dig up the pavement with a mattock to highlight the potholes issue.
According to the police, a group of around 20 workers of MNS gathered outside Mantralaya and started digging up a footpath using spades to protest against the potholes on roads.
Later, the police arrested eight MNS workers in connection with the digging of pavement. “Though there were 20 party workers, only eight were found to be involved in the digging the pavement and only these are arrested under the charges of damage to public property,” said Manojkumar Sharna, Deputy Commissioner of Police Zone 1.
The party workers have been sent to police custody for two days.
Meanwhile, the party workers alleged in court that the police beat them up in the custody.
MNS Spokesperson Sandeep Deshpande said, “The police took action against MNS party workers but will they arrest the government officers who are responsible for sprouting of potholes? The police have to charge these officials and ministers for culpable homicide for the deaths on roads due to potholes.”
The BMC restored the damaged footpath immediately after the incident.
In last one month, five people lost their lives in road accidents on pothole-ridden roads in Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai. The victims lost balance and fell as their two-wheeler hit potholes.
The protest by the MNS, held immediately a day after the party workers vandalised a PWD office in Navi Mumbai on Monday.
Recently, the MNS had thrashed a multiplex manager for overcharging food items in theatre and not allowing outside food in the multiplexes.
The MNS has no stake in State or in civic body’s politics currently and the party is in such position as no one can notice its presence. Now, the party is trying to come in limelight again by taking such issues aggressively.