In an extremely shameful incident, Congress MLA Nitesh Narayan Rane and his supporters were caught on camera throwing mud on engineer Prakash Shedekar at a bridge near Mumbai-Goa Highway in Kankavali on July 4.
Now, thousands of engineers across the State are planning to go on a ‘pen down’ strike on Monday to protest the attack on the deputy engineer. The Maharashtra Abhiyantriki Seva Mahasangh (MASS), an umbrella body of working engineers in the State, has written to Additional Chief Secretary (ACS), Public Works Department (PWD), Manoj Kumar Saunik, informing him of the strike, according to reports.
A ‘pen down strike’ is analogous to a slowdown. It is a labour action in which employees come to work but do not mark attendance and do not take up any work. The term connotes that this takes place in an office setting as opposed to an industrial setting.
In a video that went viral on social media, Rane, a Member of Maharashtra Legislative Assembly from Kankavli Assembly constituency, was seen assaulting Shedekar while a man standing behind Shedekar brings a basket full of mud and throws the mud on him. Shedekar was then pushed against the wall of the bridge and Rane’s supporters were seen trying to tie him to the bridge.
Following the outrage, the Congress MLA, who is the son of former Chief Minister of Maharashtra Rajya Sabha MP Narayan Rane, along with 16 of his supporters were arrested.
The MLA and his supporters were booked under IPC sections 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty), 342 (wrongful confinement and 120-b (criminal conspiracy), and were sent for 4 days judicial custody.
Meanwhile, Narayan Rane had in the same breath apologised on behalf of his son and also justified the protest. “While Nitesh was staging a protest, some karyakartas threw muck at the civic officials. I apologize on behalf of them as throwing muck, hitting officials is wrong. But the highway has been kept shut for many days which has affected the nearby market, making people’s lives difficult due to which Nitish was protesting. But the incident which happened in the protest is wrong,” he said.
Recently, BJP had sent a show cause notice to Akash Vijayvargiya, son of BJP veteran Kailash Vijayvargiya, over the assault of an Indore civic official with a cricket bat. The Prime Minister had strongly condemned the incident saying arrogance and misbehaviour cannot be tolerated.
According to sources, PM Narendra Modi gave out a strong message in a Parliamentary meeting saying “Whoever it may be, whoever’s son he may be… such arrogance, misbehaviour cannot be tolerated”.
“Manmaani nahi chalegi“, he said in Hindi, meaning one cannot get away doing whatever he or she wishes.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah had also sought a report after the BJP MLA was arrested for thrashing a municipal official in Indore with a cricket bat.