Angered over potholes dotting the 39-km stretch between Sion and Panvel, members of the Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) today attacked a government office in Navi Mumbai.
Pothole-riddled roads have led to five accidental deaths in Thane since last month.
The MNS workers stormed the office of the Public Works Department (PWD) at Turbhe. They shouted slogans, smashed office equipment, threw chairs, pulled down cupboards and smashed window panes.
They shouted slogans against public works minister Eknath Shinde of Shiv Sena and demanded registering of offences against those responsible for the "shoddy" condition of roads.
They demanded that cases of murder be registered against ministers in pothole-related deaths.
An official of the APMC police station said a complaint had been registered against the protesters.
"If people are dying due to poor condition of roads, MNS will continue to undertake such actions. If the roads are not repaired, the next target will be Mantralaya, the state secretariat in south Mumbai," Navi Mumbai MNS unit chief Gajanan Kale said.
Reacting to the protest, Raj Thackeray said, "If the government can't see potholes, it will at least see this protest."
On Saturday, Maharashtra PWD minister Chandrakant Patil appeared to make light of accidental deaths due to potholes on roads. "When you talk about a death in such an accident, you forget that five lakh other people have travelled on the same road. You cannot put the entire blame on the (condition of) roads alone."
The MNS protest came a day after Congress workers counted potholes in suburban Bandra as part of its "Aao Potholes Giney" (Come, let us count potholes) campaign, accusing the Shiv Sena-ruled Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation of not being prepared for the monsoons.
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