Mumbai, Sep 8: Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) workers on Thursday thrashed a fruit-vendor in Ghatkopar (East) area in Mumbai asking him not to work in the city. In an act of hooliganism, they also upturned his fruit-cart, while the vendor tried to resist the party workers. The MNS workers told him not to earn his living in Mumbai as he is from Uttar Pradesh. The party workers were of the opinion that Maharashtrian sellers suffer losses because of the increase in number of non-Maharashtrian workers in the city.
Talking about the incident, Sandip Deshpande, a MNS worker asked saying, “Mumbai needs Marathi vendors to sell goods, and not these ‘bhaiya’ vendors.” (Agar Mumbai mein Marathi logon ko maal nahi bechene denge to kya ‘bhaiya’ log ko bechne denge)
In a similar incident, MNS workers beat up hawkers in Jogeshwari in Mumbai last year and destroyed their hand carts. MNS started its attack against north Indians residing in Mumbai, especially migrants from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar in 2008. (ALSO READ- MNS workers burn auto rickshaw in Mumbai with new permit; Would Raj Thackeray be booked for inciting violence?)
MNS workers had beaten up north Indian aspirants appearing for the Railway Recruitment Board entrance exam in Mumbai in October 2008, . The workers also created a ruckus outside exam centres and raised anti-north Indian slogans. They said that non-Maharashtrians should be not be given job opportunity in Mumbai. They wanted wanted Marathi people to be recruited.
There have various incidents of hooliganism by MNS workers in the past. From vandalising toll booth to thrashing vendors to moral policing, MNS has been in the news for many controversies.
Earlier in March, MNS Chief Raj Thackeray had urged party workers to take to the streets and burn auto-rickshaws. He had asked his party men to pursue the ‘Marathi’ agenda. He was also against Regional Transport Offices providing permits to non-Marathi population in the city. Thackeray said that almost 70-72 per cent of those who were issued permits were people from outside the state.