Mumbai: The police on Sunday detained 23 persons, including local Shiv Sena MLA Manohar Bhoir, who were planning to stage a protest at the site of the upcoming Navi Mumbai International Airport over the “exclusion” of party leaders from the ground-breaking ceremony.
Bhoir alleged that Sena leaders were deliberately not invited to the ceremony, performed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the project site in Uran in neighbouring Raigad. No Shiv Sena leader or minister attended the event. “The protesters were detained before they could reach the spot,” Navi Mumbai Police Commissioner Hemant Nagrale said.
In a statement issued in the morning, Bhoir had claimed that the BJP-led Maharashtra government deliberately did not invite him as well as the Shiv Sena MP from Maval, Shrirang Barne, despite the project being in their constituencies. Bhoir and his supporters had gathered near Ovale village. They had planned to show black flags to Modi, but were detained at the village before they could proceed, said another police official. They were released after the event was over.
“It is a state-organised event, taking place at the hands of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The airport is located in Raigad district, in my constituency. Our MP, Shrirang Barne, represents the same area in the Lok Sabha, and still, both of us were not invited, which is a violation of protocol,” Bhoir said.