PUNE: Over 3,000 people from various political parties, owners of bullock carts and local villagers staged a ‘Rasta Roko’ in Chakan on Pune-Nashik highway on Saturday morning, demanding resumption of bullock cart race in Maharashtra.
Political leaders like Mahesh Landge, Bala Bhegade, Shrirang Barne, Shivajirao Adhalrao Patil and others were present in large numbers along with owners of bullock carts.
The political leaders had earlier informed of the mass protest against animal welfare organisation People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) for its opposition to bullock cart races in the State. The political leaders have been fighting to lift the ban on bullock cart racing and so had organised a massive protest.
According to information given by the Chakan police, around 3,000 protesters along with 150 bullock carts had reached from all across Maharashtra for the protest. Though political leaders were present for the protest, it was going out of hand and police had to intervene and take charge of the situation. Senior Police Inspector Manoj Yadav of Chakan police station said that as the protesters had shut down the road, it was leading to traffic chaos.
“We had diverted the traffic on other roads but people had reached in massive numbers. As the protesters had not taken necessary permissions, we had to take action to maintain law and order. No persons were injured or harmed in the protest, which was brought under control. We had to lodge cases of obstruction of traffic against people,” added Yadav.
Mahesh Landge, BJP MLA from Bhosari, criticised PETA.
Another political leader Shivajirao Adhalrao Patil said that they are trying hard to start the bullock cart racing in Maharashtra. “It is because of PETA that there is a ban on bullock cart racing and so we will be trying all legal means to lift the ban,” added Adhalrao Patil.
Several commuters on the Pune-Nashik Road faced inconvenience due to blockage of the road.