The controversy over Gujarati nameboards is likely to escalate further with the BJP deciding to reinstall the 'Maru Ghatkopar' signage on the Jawahar Road, Ghatkopar East. Pravin Chheda, ex-corporator of the area, told FPJ on Wednesday that "We will install the signage again on Friday."
Meanwhile, the Pant Nagar police arrested two Shakha Pramukhs and a member of the Shiv Sena (UBT) on Wednesday for the vandalism. Those arrested were identified as Ajit Gujar, Shakha Pramukh of ward no 131 (Pant Nagar), Jitendra Parab (Shakha Pramukh of ward no 132 (Rajawadi) and Hruday Rane. Senior Sena leader Prakash Wani said all three were released on bail.
Shiv Sainiks belonging to the Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray faction vandalised the traffic junction on Sunday morning on the ground that only Marathi signages should be allowed in Maharashtra. Chheda said the traffic island was triangular in shape and two sides had signages in Marathi and English while the third one was in Gujarati. Pointing out that Shiv Sena (UBT) had no objection to signages in Urdu, but only Gujarati, Chheda asked, "Why should Shiv Sena (UBT) have any objection when there was Marathi signage also?"
Two days ago, activists of MNS party had defaced a Ghatkopar East street named RB Mehta Road in Gujarati. On Tuesday, local Gujaratis protested the act, asserting it was being done to create a rift between Marathis and Gujaratis in the run up to the elections. Several BJP members had urged deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, who is in charge of the home portfolio, to order stringent action against Shiv Sainiks (UBT) who are fanning anti-Gujarati feelings.