This time it was the turn of Noor Khan, NCP's corporator in Jalna. On Wednesday afternoon, around 3:30 pm at a toll plaza about 25 km from Jalna city, Mr Khan and his supporters went on a brutal rampage damaging property worth lakhs. The altercation - caught on CCTV - allegedly took place after Mr Khan got delayed as vehicles ahead of his were taking time to pay toll. When his turn at the booth came, his driver and the toll plaza collector had a heated exchange and within seconds the plaza staffer was assaulted by the driver.
Soon after, all hell broke loose. Dozens of supporters were called from the nearby village and began thrashing the toll plaza employees, destroying their cabins and computers with sticks and rocks.
Also shockingly, seen in the visuals are policemen who seem to be just strolling around even as NCP workers, just meters from them, are without any fear taking the law in their own hands.
Both parties have filed counter complaints and FIRs against one another. Mr Khan's supporters claim, they had been abused by the staffers.
"His vehicle got delayed and Khan lost his cool. They beat up the employees with sticks and were even armed with swords. We have suffered losses to the tune of Rs 12-15 lakh. The Maharashtra government should take action and also grant us police protection," Srikant Badke, an official of the toll plaza demanded.
Barely two weeks ago, on August 22, Shiv Sena MLA Anil Kadam from Nasik district too was caught on camera abusing women staffers when asked to pay up. "B********, you don't let my car pass. I am warning you, women of my family will strip you. M*********, you are running toll plaza in my area" Mr Kadam was caught saying. The MLA later resigned but Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray is yet to accept it.
A day earlier, SP MLA from Bhiwandi Abdul Tahir Rashid was crossing a toll plaza at Bhiwandi. He was travelling with his family in an official car and was asked to pay Rs 30 as toll. In this case too, 40-50 SP workers went vandalized the toll plaza.
Though, by law MLAs are exempted, from paying tax, it is this repeated abuse of power that remains the issue.
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