Anti-toll strike: MNS MLAs, 300 workers detained

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Maharashtra gears up for MNS' anti-toll strike
Mumbai, Feb 12: The strike called by Maharashtra Navnirman Sena against toll collection across the state is expected to hit normal life in Mumbai and other cities.

Reportedly, police had detained at least 300 MNS workers ahead of the strike to prevent untoward incidents. Also, sources said that 2 MNS MLAs have been arrested on Wednesday while staging the protest.

Police gear up

Hemant Nagrale, Acting Mumbai Police Commissioner on Tuesday held a series of meetings with top police officials to chalk out a plan to tackle the agitation and ensure that normal life in the city is not disrupted.

Reportedly 2 MNS MLAs have been arrested on Wednesday while staging the protest

 

"We are prepared to handle any situation with firm hands and actions will be taken against the anti-social elements if they indulge in any kind of vandalism," Mr Nagrale said.

The police has issued notices to MNS workers and Mr Thackeray under section 149 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC). Given the MNS's violent past, many MNS workers have been taken into preventive custody. Security will be beefed up at major crossings and toll plazas will see maximum deployment of security forces. Leaves of policemen have also been cancelled.

MNS chief Raj Thackeray has warned that all toll plazas would remain shut on Wednesday. He is expected to protest at the Vashi Toll Plaza in Navi Mumbai.

"All the highways in Maharashtra where toll is collected will be shut from 09:00am. This is final," he said.

The major routes that are likely to face trouble due to the MNS agitation are the Mumbai-Pune Expressway, The Eastern Express Highway and The Western Express Highway, The Bandra-Worli Sea Link, National Highway 4 which connects Mumbai to cities like Thane, Pune, Satara and Kolhapur, The Mumbai-Nashik Expressway, Thane-Ghodbunder Road and Thane-Bhiwandi Road.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan invited the MNS Chief for a meeting on the issue. "I have appealed to him not to protest on this. The rest is up to him. He should not do anything that will trouble citizens. We are considering toll policy for the state," said Chavan.

(Read: All India Motor Transport Cong backs Raj Thackeray's anti-toll stir)

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