Navi Mumbai airport naming: 1 lakh set to protest, 8,000 cops on duty
Navi Mumbai police department has stationed 8,000 personnel on duty at various locations in the city to maintain law and order during the planned protest at City and Industrial Development Corporation (Cidco) Bhavan on Thursday to demand naming of Navi Mumbai international airport after Project Affected Persons (PAP) leader DB Patil. Protestors, despite being denied permission by the police, have threatened to come out in large numbers on Thursday.
The controversy has already turned into a BJP versus MVA issue with Shiv Sena chief and chief minister Uddhav Thackeray insisting on naming the airport after Sena founder Balasaheb Thackeray. Different organisers claimed that more than one lakh protesters from among the sons of the soil, PAPs, locals, action committees, social organisations and also various political parties in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region are expected to attend. A public meeting has been planned off Palm Beach Road at some distance from Cidco Bhavan.
Suresh Mengde, DCP zone 1, who briefed the police force at Rajiv Gandhi Sports Complex in CBD Belapur, said, “We are taking all measures to protect lives and property and have called additional forces from Nashik, Pune and Mumbai for bandobast. We are also getting eight companies from SRPF. There will be around 8,000 personnel on bandobast duty.” Prashant Thakur, Panvel BJP MLA, said, “The CM has refused to accept our demand. We are going ahead with the planned protest on DB Patil’s death anniversary.”