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Mumbai BJP MLA in trouble for beating up hawkers, abusing cops

Hawkers from Vile Parle have complained to the Juhu police station against BJP legislator Ameet Satam for allegedly misusing his position to get the civic body to round them up.

mumbai Updated: Sep 11, 2017 00:52 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Mumbai news,BJP MLA,crime
BJP legislator Ameet Satam(HT Photo)

Days after a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator stirred controversy for demanding a bribe of Rs20 lakh from a road contractor, another party MLA has invited criticism for allegedly abusing and beating up hawkers, intimidating and using foul language against police officers and allegations of taking hafta from hawkers in his constituency.

Hawkers from Vile Parle have complained to the Juhu police station against BJP legislator Ameet Satam for allegedly misusing his position to get the civic body to round them up.

A video clip that went viral shows Satam abusing hawkers and threatening physical assault in the presence of police personnel.

Satam, an MLA from Juhu, has clarified he was only urging authorities to take action against hawkers hazardously using gas cylinders to cook in the open, especially after a cylinder blast last week gutted an under-construction building at Juhu, killing six people. “I have been trying to get authorities to take action against use of cylinders on the roads in the open as it is a recipe for disaster. After the cylinder blast, I took it up more strongly. My language was purely out of emotion as I had just seen four corpses completely charred beyond recognition the previous night.”

The Azad Hawkers’ Union wrote a letter to the Juhu police station requesting the senior police inspector to register a case against Satam for mischief causing financial damage, voluntarily causing hurt, intentional insult and criminal intimidation.

Borhun Shah, one of the signatories, said, “He just wanted us evicted. I don’t know what his intentions are, if he wants hafta from us. But he abused us, threatened us, rounded up our wares and caused us financial damage. We were about 13-14 hawkers there.”Shah said the police is yet to register a First Information Report (FIR) against Satam, Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) from Juhu.

The hawkers wrote, “We have been hawkers running our stalls near Mithibai College for years. Since some time, two men have been coming to us and asking us to start paying MLA Satam and to be ready to face consequences

if we don’t pay. We thought these must be some random people, as why would MLA Ameet Satam want any money from poor people like us? So we refused to pay.”

Satam dismissed these as frivolous allegations. “Why would I be so petty as to trouble small-time vendors and extort money out of them? The cooking that goes on at these stalls is in violation of High Court guidelines.”

First Published: Sep 11, 2017 00:52 IST