BJP leader Pravin Darekar on Tuesday said the attack on a senior woman official of the Thane Municipal Corporation during an anti-hawking drive a day earlier was due to “political support and organised crime" and demanded that the accused be charged under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA).
Assistant Municipal Commissioner Kavita Pimpale and her bodyguard were attacked by a knife-wielding hawker, identified by police as Amar Yadav, while she was overseeing the removal of unauthorised hawkers in Kasarvadavli junction on Monday evening, leading to three of her fingers getting severed.
Darekar, the leader of opposition in the state legislative council, who met the official in hospital, said, “Registering an offence of murder against the accused will not suffice. He must be charged under MCOCA. Look at his courage to carry a knife around and attack a civic official. This is nothing but a result of political support and organised crime."
He added that a draft policy on hawkers that was made during the previous BJP government under Devendra Fadnavis must be finalised by the MVA government on priority. Meanwhile, Thane Additional Collector Vaidehi Ranade said the case must be tried in a fast-tract court, adding that the attack had demoralised 40,000 government and civic staff in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region.
Several government and civic employees on Tuesday held an emergency meeting at the collectorate here to condemn the incident.