Toll issue: Bandh evokes mixed response, 3 Sena MLAs booked
Kolhapur: A Shiv Sena-sponsored bandh today against continuation of collection of toll on nine roads in the city by a private company evoked a mixed response even as police booked three MLAs of the party in connection with ransacking and torching of toll booths.
Though shops remained closed throughout the day, the buses plied as usual on roads. Schools and educational institutions were exempted from the shutdown.
Anti-Toll Action Committee activists comprising Shiv Sena members had allegedly set on fire four toll booths in this prominent western Maharashtra city yesterday after vandalising them in protest against collection of the road tax by IRB Infrastructure Developers, a private company, which manages the toll booths on nine roads leading to the city.
The activists had also damaged the IRB office here.
Police today registered offences against city Mayor Sunita Raut and three Shiv Sena MLAs, namely Chandradeep Narake, Sujit Minchekar and Rajesh Kshirasagar under relevant sections of IPC for disturbing public peace and provocation.
Police also registered offences against more than 2,000 people for allegedly participating in the vandalism.
Meanwhile, Shiv Sena workers today engaged in a scuffle with police when the cops prevented them to set on fire an effigy of district guardian minister Harshavardhan Patil at Chhatrapati Shivaji intersection here.
The toll collection issue turned sensitive with about a dozen members of anti-toll action committee launching an indefinite hunger strike a week ago.
The activists withdrew their agitation on Saturday after the Minister of State for Home Satej Patil and Labour Minister Hasan Mushrif’s assurance that the government would ask the company to stop the toll collection.
Yesterday’s violence was said to be the fallout of IRB allegedly continuing to charge the road tax despite the assurance given by the ministers.
The agitation against the toll collection took a violent turn on nine roads in Kolhapur city with suspected Shiv Sena activists vandalizing four toll booths.