Alleging that the deputy municipal commissioner (anti-encroachments) used indecent language against women slumdwellers and tore up a banner of a Matang community leader, Shiv Sena legislator Pratap Sarnaik and nearly 20 members of the community protested against BG Pawar on Tuesday. Pawar, however, refuted the allegations saying that Sarnaik was settling scores with him as he had demolished Sarnaik’s bungalow in Yeoor.
The community members had gone on a hunger strike a week ago protesting against the demolition of slums in Kalwa. “The Matang community members claimed that their houses were demolished despite being built before 2000 and that Pawar had asked them to pay Rs50,000 to prevent the demolition. So, we went to meet the mayor on Tuesday. As he was not in his cabin, we went to Pawar’s cabin. There, he used indecent language against women and also tore up a banner of Annabhau Sathe,” said Sarnaik.
Shouting slogans against Pawar and damaging a computer, the group refused to budge from Pawar’s cabin till some action was taken. Finally, police commandos along with policemen were called in to evict the protesters. Sarnaik added that they will be filing a police complaint against Pawar and have sought his resignation from the mayor.
Pawar, however, rubbished the allegations as baseless. “The slums near Salim Ali Nature Park were razed around three months ago. As I was not present at the spot of demolition, there is no question of saying anything. They also alleged that I had issued orders to tear up Annabhau Sathe’s banner. I had not issued any such order,” said Pawar.
“We had demolished illegal bungalows in Yeoor, which also included Sarnaik’s bungalow, two years ago. We demolished it again on Friday. That is why, he led the protest. We will be filing a complaint against Sarnaik and others under section 353 of the IPC (assault to deter public servant from discharge of his duty),” said Pawar.