Mumbai: The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) attacked north Indians once again - this time targeting the pani-puri and bhel-puri sellers of Mumbai and Thane, after one of them was caught urinating in a serving vessel.
Over 300 stalls selling Mumbaikar's favourite snacks were attacked, vandalised and destroyed by MNS activists, protesting against one pani-puriwalla who was caught on camera urinating in a vessel used to serve his customers.
'This is not only shocking but spoils the name of all the people selling these snacks all over Mumbai. But a lesson must be taught to warn the others,' MNS vice president V. Saraswat told IANS.
He said that the issue of how vendors selling pani-puri and bhel-puri are allowed to operate must be taken up. 'Over 95 percent are operating illegally after bribing the police and civic officials,' Saraswat said.
Since early Thursday afternoon, scores of MNS activists swooped on the stalls selling these snacks and broke them up.
The attack followed a Mumbai tabloid exposing a Thane city pani-puriwalla who was seen urinating in a container which was also used to serve the hungry customers.
The vendor, Rajdev Lakhan Chauhan (59), ran a stall at Bhaskar Colony in Navpada, was caught on lens by a 19-year old college student, Ankita Rane, last Tuesday.
Later, when she informed the people, the locals severely thrashed him and handed him over to police.
However, the MNS was not satisfied by the police action and destroyed several hundred such stalls in Mumbai and Thane today.
Places were delicious pani-puri, bhel-puri, ragda-pattice, ragda-samosas, sev-puri, dahi-puri and such snacks are sold in Colaba, Churchgate, Dadar, Girgaum Chowpatty, Bandra, Andheri, Borivli, Thane and other areas were targeted.
MNS legislator Nitin Sardesai told media persons that in the past, residents have complained to the BMC about the roadside vendors not adhering to hygiene norms, but the Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled civic body ignored them
Saraswat said that the latest incident was a glaring example of one rotten mango spoiling the entire basket.
'For the mistake of one person, the entire community has to suffer. Now, it is up to the BMC to ensure that hygienic norms are strictly followed. If not, we shall continue this campaign in MNS style,' Saraswat warned.