Shiv Sena MP arrested for vandalising five-star hotel

January 27th, 2009 - 12:14 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Jan 27 (IANS) Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut was arrested here Tuesday for leading a demonstration last week during which party workers vandalised the five star Hotel Intercontinental Grand as it had sacked 21 employees, police said.Raut, the executive editor of Saamna, the party’s mouthpiece, will be taken to the Andheri magistrate’s court later Tuesday, an official of the Sahar police station said.

Shiv Sena lawmaker Anil Parab and 52 others had been arrested earlier and released on bail of Rs.5,000 each, the official said. However, the procession leaders - Raut and Bharatiya Kamgar Sena (BKS) president Suryakant Mahadik - had not been held at that time.

Mahadik told IANS that he and Raut, a Rajya Sabha member, had been summoned by the police.

“It’s all due to political pressures from Delhi,” he said before he surrendered, adding that the police had come to his Chembur residence and Raut’s Kanjurmarg home.

On Jan 21, some 300 protesters had taken a procession to the Hotel Intercontinental Grand, located two kilometres from the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, to protest the sacking of at least 21 employees by the hotel management.

The protesters vandalised the hotel entrance, after which the police beat them with sticks, injuring at least 10 protesters.

Mahadik said that for the past one year, the 21 workers were attempting to unite the employees under the BKS flag to which the management objected.

“When the employees persisted in their efforts, they were summarily sacked from service six months ago, without notice or compensation,” Mahadik said.

He added: “Though the BKS attempted to resolve the issue through negotiations, the hotel management threw a challenge at us by vowing never to let the BKS form a union on its premises.”

Asked to explain the damage caused to the hotel, Mahadik claimed: “Although it was a peaceful demonstration, the hotel management provoked my workers into damaging its premises”.

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