A civic employee charged with removing illegal banners was thrashed by Shiv Sena activists on Monday for mistaking Rabindranath Tagore for Santa Claus.
The incident took place near Sadakant Dhavan playground in Dadar (East) where the Shiv Sena had organised a mass recital of the national anthem composed by Tagore to commemorate 100 years of it being sung, and had put up a poster of Tagore on the gate of the venue.
However, a civic employee from the advertisement department, which is in-charge of removing illegal banners, hoardings and posters in the city, pulled it down, tearing it in the process.
Sena activists confronted the employee, who said that he thought that the photo was of Santa Claus and he had removed it as Christmas is over. His reply infuriated Sena activists, who beat him up. The employee approached the nearby Bhoiwada police station and filed a non-cognisable complaint.
Vilas Rane, Sena's area chief, said, "If they can't identify the difference between Tagore and Santa Claus, they have no right to be in public service."
Bhagyashree Kapse, assistant municipal commissioner, said: "That banner was put up without permission and it is our duty to remove it."