Autoricksaw drivers caught in political rivalry

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Old 06-Oct-2011
Autoricksaw drivers caught in political rivalry

Mumbai: Both the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) and Shiv Sena turned the heat on north-Indian migrants plying autorickshaws in the metropolis on Wednesday, in the wake of an agitation by auto drivers early this week.

Ostensibly taking up cudgels for Mumbaikars (people of Mumbai) inconvenienced by the agitation, activists of both the Raj Thackeray-led MNS and Bal Thackeray-led Sena targeted the auto drivers and damaged several of their vehicles on Tuesday night and yesterday. They also beat up some of the drivers who are north-Indian migrants settled in Mumbai.

Within hours of Raj Thackeray giving a call to his party activists to "teach a lesson" to the agitating auto drivers for the fare hike and their high-handedness, the MNS took to streets and damaged vehicles in some parts of Mumbai on Tuesday night.

In their "MNS style retaliation" against the agitating auto drivers, they smashed over a dozen autorickshaws in Sion, Vikhroli and Thane, yesterday and assaulted the drivers in some places.

Not to be outdone, Sena activists also damaged scores of autorickshaws and beat up the drivers of the three-wheelers.

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