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MNS men vandalize Mumbai Congress headquarters

IANS  |  Mumbai 

Raj Thackeray's activists on Friday vandalised the headquarters and termed it "a surgical strike" -- amid a renewed war of words over north Indian migrants -- evoking a strong reaction from leader and others.

At least half-a-dozen activists barged into party office at Azad Maidan while it was being cleaned and damaged glass cabins, fittings and furniture with sticks and stones within minutes. The vandalism was captured on CCTVs installed inside the office.

Though there were no casualties, the office premises were badly damaged.

Virtually patting himself for the violence, Secretary Sandeep Deshpande tweeted: "carried out a 'surgical strike' on Bhaiyya Sanjay Nirupam's office. We shall give an apt reply (Eent ka jawab pathhar se milega..)."

Hours later, police detained Deshpande and five other activists and registered a case against them.

Deshpande told the media in the evening: "is proud of our men. They have done good work."

The surprise admission by the leader rekindled an ongoing fight between the two parties over north Indian migrants living and working in

President Sanjay Nirupam, himself from north India, termed the vandalism an "act of cowards by impotent and frustrated workers who are routinely getting beaten up by hawkers".

He urged Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to "act fast (against MNS) or a befitting reply will be given for sure".

Taking no chances after the leader's statement, police beefed up security outside Raj Thackeray's residence near Shivaji Park and offices across the city.

Union Minister of State for Social Justice Ramdas Athawale said the deserved to be conferred with a 'Hawkers Bhushan' award for its actions against north Indian hawkers and people living and working in the city.

He urged Thackeray and the to exercise restraint as "even the Shiv Sena has a north Indian wing".

The has revived its anti-migrant agitation after nearly a decade in the wake of the September 29 stampede at the overbridge at Elphinstone Road railway station and it began clearing railway stations and surrounding premises of hawkers, most of who are from north India.

The threw its lot behind the migrants and hawkers -- and even Fadnavis came out in support of north Indians for their contribution to the state's economy.

Friday's vandalism attracted condemnation from several leaders including former Chief Ministers Ashok Chavan, Prithviraj Chavan and Ashok Gehlot, and former Union Minister Gurudas Kamat.

"Shocking... to what level certain people can stoop is really disturbing. Even worse is to see to what extent they are protected by those in power," Kamat said.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, December 01 2017. 19:32 IST