Something happened in Vasai today, there was a rally organized by MLA Vivek Pandit for ‘awarding’ the Vasai Deputy Superintendent of Police (DySP) Deepak Devraj for using the in humane lathi charge to control the crowd a few days ago when Vivek Pandit was on an indefinite hunger strike to protest against the inclusion of 53 villages in the Virar-Vasai Municipal Corporation (VVMC) as I mentioned in my last post.
There was no Police presence, nor was there any Government official present for the rally. As per the rules, there needs to be atleast 1 Police person per 1000 people in a lawful gathering along with a collector or a deputy collector for large gatherings.
Approximately 1500-2000 strong gathering gathered in front of the Navghar Manickpur Nagar Parishad office near Vasai Road Railway Station with Vivek Pandit addressing the crowd asking them to form a queue. He asked each and every one to refrain from using any kind of voilence or show any bouts of anger over the public or the authorities.
The crowd moved slowly to the small road in front of Vartak College, where a makeshift stage was ready with Vivek Pandit asking the crowd to sit down and maintain silence. He then went on to speak of the entire episode of how things fell apart on Friday, the 5th of March and how in humane the police were in ruthlessly hitting the gathering at Vasai.
There were more testimonies from those who suffered from the police brutality and then there was this guy (I’ll get the name for sure) who was carried to the stage, the police had hit so hard on his legs that he is unable to stand, forget walking.
The MLA promised that the next session of the Maharashtra assembly starting on the 18th of March will see only Vasai being discussed. Ram Kadam, the MLA from Maharashtra NavNirman Sena (MNS) was there to affirm that.
Chaos reigned yet again in Vasai as protesters turned violent stoning public transport busses and lighting rubber tyres on fire. The police had to resort to lathi charge to control the crowd. Vivek Pandit the local MLA was on an indefinite hunger strike from March 2nd to protest against the inclusion of 53 villages in the Virar-Vasai Municipal Corporation (VVMC)
Vivek Pandit was shifted to the Thane Civil Hospital after his condition worsened.
Vasai was brought to a standstill with a curfew like situation and all shops closing down and no vehicles running on the roads in the afternoon today.
The Chief Minister of Maharashtra called in on Vivek Pandit from Kolhapur and said that he would convene an all-party meeting within 15 days to sort out the issue of delinking the 53 villages from the Virar-Vasai Municipal Corporation.
The agitation has since been called off and normalcy has returned to Vasai.
So 53 villages along with four municipal councils of Vasai, Navghar-Manickpur, Virar and Nallasopara from the Vasai-Virar subsection are all set to be merged as a Vasai-Virar Municipal Corporation (VVMC).
Here is the notification: http://maharashtra.gov.in/data/gr/marathi/2009/07/03/20090707181255001.pdf
Formed nearly three years after it issued a notification announcing its intent to form such a civic body, the VVMC is the 23rd municipal corporation in Maharashtra.
Kishor Barde has been appointed as the first Municipal Commissioner of the VVMC. The VVMC is expected to be headquartered at Virar.
The state had issued a notification on July 3, 2009 that the municipal councils of Nallasopara, Virar, Navghar-Manickpur and Vasai along with 53 adjoining villages would be merged to create the new municipal corporation of Vasai-Virar.
Forty-nine of the 53 village panchayats that have unanimously objected to the merger, have now launched an agitation for their villages to be left alone. Regional leaders of Vasai-Virar cutting across all party lines have joined the campaign to save the villages, last remaining green belts of the Vasai, from urbanisation that is eminent after being merged into the municipal corporation.