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Seven more arrested for MSRTC workers’ protest outside Pawar’s house; 110 held so far

Police have arrested seven more persons in connection with the protest held by a group of MSRTC workers outside NCP chief Sharad Pawar‘s residence here, taking the tally of those held in the case so far to 110, an official said on Saturday. On Friday evening, hours after the protest, the police had arrested 103 persons, including advocate Gunaratna Sadavarte, who claims to represent the striking employees of the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC), he said.

A group of striking employees of the MSRTC had staged a sudden and fierce protest outside ‘Silver Oak’, the NCP supremo’s residence on Pedder Road in south Mumbai on Friday afternoon, accusing the veteran leader of not doing anything to help them. The protesters, who included women, shouted slogans against the former Union minister with some of them even seen hurling footwear towards his house.

“Mumbai police have so far arrested 110 persons in connection with the attack on NCP chief Sharad Pawar’s residence,” the official said.

Officials of the Gamdevi police station had on Friday evening arrested 103 persons, including lawyer Gunaratna Sadavarte, on the charge of rioting, unlawful assembly, assault and criminal conspiracy, he said.

“Seven more persons were arrested early on Saturday during a search operation,” he said.

Meanwhile, the police have stepped up security at Sharad Pawar’s residence in Mumbai and his hometown Baramati in Pune district, officials said.

The MSRTC workers, who were agitating at Azad Maidan in south Mumbai, were removed from the site early on Saturday, they said.

The employees of the MSRTC, which has over 90,000 persons on its payrolls, have been on strike since November 2021. While Pawar’s party is part of the ruling coalition, the transport portfolio is held by the Shiv Sena’s Anil Parab.

The main demand of the striking workers is that the cash-strapped transport corporation be merged with the state government.

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