Raj Thackeray was detained by the police near Chembur while he was on his way to lead the toll agitation in Vashi. Around 3500 party workers were also detained by police for stopping traffic on roads.
Police took MNS workers into custody at several places including Pune, Ahmednagar and Vasai. Tyres were burnt in Thane, while in Pune MNS workers deflated tyres of some vehicles. The stir has commenced despite police serving a notice to Raj warning against participating in the agitation.
Around 27 lakhs vehicles plying across Maharashtra has gone off the road from midnight on Tuesday to express solidarity with the "Rasta Roko" agitation called by MNS chief Raj Thackeray against "illegal" toll collection.
"We will support any political party on this issue. We have been raising this issue with the government for the past five years but it has gone unheeded. So, in support of the issue, we have decided to keep all 27 lakh transportation vehicles off the road from this midnight," All India Motor Transport Congress president Bal Malkit Singh said on Tuesday.
Around 3500 party workers were also detained
Even those vehicles which are used in transportation of consumer durables and essential items like food products, medicines will remain off the road during the period, he said. The AIMTC claims representation of around 75 lakh truckers and some 40 lakh-odd private bus operators.
"People are being taken for a ride and have continued to pay higher cost for moving even within the country", Singh said. He cited reports suggesting that road-users on national highways paid toll worth Rs. 9,283 crore in the last financial year. "However, the revenue collected is just a fraction of what is wasted i.e. Rs. 87,000 crore. It is the aam aadmi's money which is going down the drain", he added.
With PTI inputs