Staff of a toll naka on National Highway 8 allegedly thrashed a 59-year-old Malad resident following a dispute over Rs. 3. Vasantrai Gohil suffered a hip fracture after he was assaulted allegedly with iron rods. Vasantrai’s family said he was beaten up for demanding the change due to him.
IRB Infrastructure Developers, which runs the toll naka, claimed Vasantrai’s car had brushed past an employee, angering his colleagues. Virendra Mhaiskar, chairman and managing director of IRB, said: “When they stopped the car, both sides exchanged blows.”
Virar police said both parties have registered cases of assault against each other.
Vijay, 26, Vasantrai’s son, said the toll fee is Rs47. On Wednesday, the family were heading to Silvassa. They reached the toll naka at 3.30 pm and Vasantrai handed over Rs100 to the staff. “They returned only Rs. 50. When my father demanded the rest, the man at the cash counter said he did not have change. He said we could leave or wait till he gets the change,” said Vijay.
Vasantrai asked for his money back, saying he would pay the exact fee. When he got his money back, Vasantrai said if the staff did not have change he wouldn’t pay and asked Vijay to drive on.
As the Gohils drove ahead, a yellow bus with the National Highway Authority logo intercepted them. “Seven men with iron rods got down and started thumping the car windows. One of them hit my father,” said Vijay, who was hit on the right eye. Vasantrai’s hip was fractured and he was operated upon on Friday.