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Shiv Sena, MNS target migrants again

Archrivals, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena and Shiv Sena have joined hands in a violent agitation against three-wheeler drivers who refuse fare.

mumbai Updated: Oct 06, 2011 00:50 IST
HT Correspondent

Archrivals, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena and Shiv Sena have joined hands in a violent agitation against three-wheeler drivers who refuse fare.

The recent fare hike and two auto-rickshaw strikes have given the MNS and Sena an opportunity just four months before the civic polls.

On Wednesday, MNS workers damaged four auto-rickshaws and assaulted as many drivers. Mumbai Autorickshawmen’s Union president Sharad Rao, however, claimed five vehicles were burnt down. He demanded action against MNS chief Raj Thackeray and compensation. “We will move court if the government doesn’t take any action.”

On Tuesday, Thackeray announced that his men would campaign against the errant auto-rickshaw drivers, especially those who had migrated from north India.

The Sena, too, jumped into the fray. “We will not allow anyone to blackmail Mumbaikars,” Sena MP Sanjay Raut said. He said the Sena would post men at auto-rickshaw stands to ensure drivers did not turn down fares.

Even as the police arrested 12 suspected MNS workers for beating up a driver at the Sion suburban area, MNS vice-president Haji Arafat Shaikh said, “We have formed small teams and any auto driver acting smart will be taught a lesson.”