The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) kept its violent agitation against toll tax going for the third consecutive day, damaging the toll naka at Mulund on Thursday.
Around 40 MNS party workers led by legislator Shishir Shinde held demonstrations at Mulund toll naka and also had a face-off with the police personnel who were deployed there in large numbers.
“We will not rest until this unjust tax is abolished,” said Shinde, who had dug up the Wankhade stadium to protest against the Pakistani cricket team playing there in 1991, when he was with the Shiv Sena.
The Mulund police arrested Shinde along with 19 protesters on charges of manhandling policemen and damaging public property. Assistant commissioner of police (Mulund division) Mahadeo Gundewadi said, “Nineteen persons have been arrested on the charge of rioting and disrupting public servants from fulfilling their duty as they manhandled policemen who tried to stop them. The rest were detained for some time and allowed to go,” said Gundewadi.
After the policemen managed to bring the situation under control, some of the accused threw stones at the toll naka, breaking the cabin glass, following which they were booked for damaging public property. Until now, now the MNS has vandalised toll nakas at places like Vashi and Dahisar. The agitation has also spread to other parts of the state like Buldhana and Beed.
MNS chief Raj Thackeray had kicked off his campaign against the toll tax on Tuesday calling it a money-making racket. “I want to make Maharashtra toll-free,” said Raj, adding that toll collections should be discontinued at all places where the contracts have expired.