Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray has threatened to file contempt of court cases against government officials if illegal hawkers carried on with their business in the state. “The court has laid down strict norms on where hawkers can do business. If hawkers are found in places where they are not meant to be, I will file contempt cases against government officials,” Thackeray said while addressing party workers at a function in Mumbai.
After the September 29 Elphinstone Road station stampede, the MNS has been agitating against hawkers outside railway stations. These protests have often turned violent. Thackeray said he was forced to play the role of a sentry because officials were not doing their jobs.
“My job is to act as a sentry of Maharashtra. I am speaking to officials with folded hands that they should do their job else, I will have to take action,” Thackeray said.
He asked Maharashtrians to refrain from purchasing goods from illegal hawkers and claimed that most of the illegal hawkers who had come from outside the state and were profiteering at the expense of hardworking taxpaying shopkeepers.
He said every day, nearly 48 trains came into Mumbai from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Jharkand bringing a large number of migrants. He also trained guns at slums. Thackeray claimed that Maharashtra was being usurped inch by inch by illegal squatters.
“We are losing our land inch by inch. We are losing Maharashtra. Once this goes out of our hand, it will not come back,” he said.