The Shiv Sena, the ruling party in the BMC, got aggressive on Saturday, to protect the controversial open-air gym at Marine Drive, promoted by Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray’s son Aaditya.
Even after the C-ward office said its permission was not sought to set up the gym and the objection from residents, Sena workers were seen protecting the open-air structure. Local leaders had also put up hoardings stating “they will take on anyone who touch the gym”.
The aggression became visible after Congress legislator Nitesh Rane asked the civic body to remove the structure. The Nationalist Congress Party, too, jumped on the bandwagon, with its city unit chief Sachin Ahir demanding action against the gym.
It all started on July 16, when assistant municipal officer Sangita Hasnale ordered the removal of the gym over lack of permission from the C-ward office. While the equipment was removed, it was put up within three hours, bowing down to Sena leaders’ pressure. They also demanded Hasnale’s transfer. Hasnale on Thursday wrote to the civic chief explaining the gym only had permission from the A-ward and not C.
The local Sena men are now targetting Hasnale. Sampat Thakur, Sena corporator from C-ward, said, “While no action is taken against illegal activities, the gym that had come with the commissioner’s permission is swiftly removed.”
Additional municipal commissioner Pallavi Darade said, “We are yet to examine the details in the letter. We will submit a report after taking all issues into consideration.”