Striking MSRTC employees throw stones at Pawar’s house
The employees, who have been protesting at Azad Maidan to press for merger of MSRTC with the government, suddenly decided to march to Pawar’s residence.
MUMBAI: Over 100 striking employees of Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) staged a protest outside NCP chief Sharad Pawar’s residence Silver Oak on Friday noon, accusing him of not doing anything to address their grievances. `
The employees, who have been protesting at Azad Maidan to press for merger of MSRTC with the government, suddenly decided to march to Pawar’s residence. They tried to break through the security cordon and threw stones and shoes at his house and scuffled with the police personnel.
While Pawar remained inside, his daughter and MP Supriya Sule came out and tried to pacify the protesters. She appealed to them to sit and discuss what they wanted. “I am grateful to Mumbai Police that they rushed and averted a major untoward incident,” Sule later said. Pawar said he was behind the MSRTC employees but not their “wrong leadership”.
Police initially seemed to have been taken by surprise, but later removed the protesters from the spot and registered a case against 107 people. Later in the day, advocate Gunwant Sadhavarte was taken into custody. He was spearheading the protest at Azad Maidan and had allegedly been making inflammatory speeches and provoking MSRTC employees.
The Maharashtra government has ordered a high-level inquiry into the incident. Home minister Dilip Walse Patil said Pawar’s residence was a well-protected zone, yet the protestors managed to reach there. “We will check whether it was intelligence failure of the police. This must be a larger conspiracy. No one will be spared,” he said.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said strict action would be taken against those involved. His son and Shiv Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray, ministers and other leaders later met the NCP chief. Former CM and Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis also condemned the attack, but some other BJP leaders said the Maha Vikas Aghadi should ponder over why such an incident took place.