Thousands of villagers from all over Thane district gathered at Saket Road on Sunday under the banner of Shramajeevi Sanghatana to protest against the police lathicharge on Vasai MLA Vivek Pandit and his supporters on March 5.
The villagers marched from Saket road to Tembhi naka, where, amid heavy police bandobast, Pandit, his wife Vidyulata and Shiv Sena MLA Eknath Shinde addressed the rally.
Pandit said their agitation was against the state government for democracy and freedom. “Whatever our freedom fighters fought for, they sacrificed their lives for freedom, the Chavan government has snatched away that freedom and made slaves out of people. They have raped democracy with the lathicharge. But it is time for people to revive democracy and the freedom struggle. This is just the beginning, the battle is yet to be fought,” said the Independent legislator.
He added that the real culprits behind the lathicharge were sitting in the Mantralaya. “We have no problems with the hands that hit us but with the heads behind them,” he said.
On the exclusion of the 53 villages, Pandit said that mafias are after the land of the villagers and that the state government is an agent. He said they would intensify the agitation if they do not get justice.
Pandit gave a written application to resident deputy collector Amol Yadav.