The police on Sunday booked Mumbai Congress president Sanjay Nirupam for addressing a hawkers’ rally in suburban Malad on Saturday without taking a prior nod from them, an official said.
“MNS goons active since past few days. No FIR registered against them,” Nirupam said after the FIR was registered against him.
“BJP registered FIR against me just because I went to show solidarity with hawkers,” he added.
Earlier, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) workers who were trying to evict the hawkers from outside the Malad railway station were assaulted on Saturday afternoon after the Congress leader addressed the rally of around 150 hawkers.
BJP registered FIR against me just because I went to show solidarity with hawkers: Sanjay Nirupam, Mumbai Regional Congress Committee Pres— ANI (@ANI) October 29, 2017
Seven hawkers were arrested by the police under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), including 307 (attempt to murder).
Speaking on the matter, Mumbai Police spokesperson and DCP Deepak Devraj said, “A case has been registered against Sanjay Nirupam at Malad police station for holding the rally without a prior permission.”
Nirupam has been booked under sections 143 (whoever is a member of an unlawful assembly), 149 (every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object), 37 (co-operation by doing one of several acts constituting an offence) of the IPC, according to another official.
The Mumbai Congress president in his rally had said that the hawkers will not tolerate hooliganism of MNS activists.
“I would not tolerate such high-handedness of MNS leaders against hawkers. The hawkers are capable enough to retaliate to any aggression from MNS,” he had said.
The hawkers had allegedly attacked MNS workers after the rally. In the attack, one of the activists got head injuries.
Fearing backlash from the MNS, heavy police were deployed in the area.
Police have also booked around 40 MNS workers for rioting and arrested 18 of them, an official said.
Further investigation into the matter is underway and more arrests are likely, he added.
After MNS chief Raj Thackeray addressed a rally in south Mumbai earlier this month over the death of 23 people in a stampede on the staircase of the foot overbridge (FOB) at suburban Elphinstone Road railway station last month, MNS workers took upon themselves the task of removing hawkers from station premises.
(With PTI inputs)