Protest in M'rashtra against attack

Slapgate: NCP leaders seek probe; party activists go on rampage

Mumbai city witnessed isolated incidents of protests and road blockades by NCP protestors. Reports trickling from the interiors revealed that NCP’s stronghold- western Maharashtra-was the worst affected.

The state police control here said that there were sporadic incidents of arson from Solapur and Nashik. Pawar’s home town Baramati witnessed protests and pelting of stones by NCP workers, forcing the downing of shutters in the entire area.

In Solapur, a western Maharashtra district, senior NCP Minister Laxman Dhoble brought the entire traffic to a standstill at Mohol, an important traffic junction in the region. The industrial township of Nashik, a stronghold of NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal, witnessed road blockades.

In the satellite town of Navi Mumbai, the agro-produce market saw cessation of trading with agro-traders walking out to mark their protest against the incident. Mumbai city police control room informed that there were reports of road blockades and attempts to close down shops in parts of central suburbs and far-flung north-eastern suburbs.

“Some people who were trying to disrupt the traffic flow in the eastern express highway and arterial roads in the region, were taken into custody,” the police said.

The state NCP leaders later in the day at a press meet denouncing the incident. He demanded a thorough probe into the antecedents of the accused. Maharashtra Public Works Minister and senior NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal sought a proper security cover for Sharad Pawar . He blamed Delhi police force for the lapses.

Bhujbal also gave a veiled hint at the incident, stating, “Something is not right. Why should one slap Pawarsaheb? The PDS or rationing is not with him. He is not responsible for the hike in prices. The matter should be investigated to find out whether anybody else is also involved in instigating the attacker.”

However, the slapping incident, brought the state politicians together, who within minutes faxed out statements to news offices denouncing the attack.

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