PUNE: A group of MNS workers, including a former corporator, assaulted the assistant manager of a multiplex in Pune in Maharashtra over high prices of food items sold inside the theatre, police said today.
A case against Kishor Shinde, a former corporator from Kothrud area, and other workers of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena was registered after the multiplex management filed a complaint at Chatushringi police station following the incident yesterday.
Around a dozen MNS workers barged into PVR Icon on Senapati Bapat Road and some of them slapped the assistant manager of the theatre, a purported video of the incident showed.
The MNS workers were carrying banners protesting the overpricing of food items sold on the multiplex premises.
The video has gone viral on social media. Shinde and two other activists of the Raj Thackeray-led party assaulted the assistant manager, police said.
"We have booked Shinde and other MNS workers under relevant sections of the IPC after the multiplex administration lodged a complaint against them," said senior inspector Dayanand Dhome of the Chatushringi police station.
When contacted, Shinde referred to a recent judgement of the Bombay High Court and said he and others had gone to the multiplex to request its administration to reduce prices of the food items sold to moviegoers.
The high court, hearing a PIL, had asked the Maharashtra government why it could not regulate the prices of food items sold at exorbitant rates inside movie theatres and multiplexes across the state.
The PIL had pointed to the ban on carrying food items from outside the movie theatres and multiplexes.
"Based on that news (the HC ruling), we went to some multiplexes in the city asking the management to reduce the prices of food items.
"When we approached the PVR on Senapati Bapat Road, the multiplex representative told us he cannot read Marathi so he was not aware of the news published about the high court questioning the government," said Shinde.
Instead of providing logical answers for overcharging customers for food items, he bluntly said "only those who can afford to pay for them should come to the theatre", the MNS leader claimed.
"After his answer, our people lost their cool and slapped him," said Shinde.
Observing that prices of eatables sold inside cinema halls were often "exorbitant", a bench of justices Ranjit More and Anuja Prabhudessai had directed the state government to examine if the Bombay Police Act can be invoked to regulate the prices.
"The prices of food and beverages sold in multiplexes are exorbitant. Sometimes, some food articles sold there are more expensive than even the movie tickets," the bench had said.