Navi Mumbai Airport site
Navi Mumbai Airport site

More than 5000 police personnel ensured the protest by son-of-soil (Bhumiputra) to name the proposed Navi Mumbai International Airport (NMIA) after Late DB Patil on Thursday held peacefully. Police said that more than 10,000 villagers assembled for the protest for which they did not have permission. Now, the police said they will file cases against their representatives.

While protestors were not allowed to go to CIDCO Bhawan, representatives of All-Party Action Committee (APAC) submitted a memorandum to Sanjay Mukherjee, managing director and vice-chairman of CIDCO, to name the upcoming airport in the city after Late D B Patil, a former MP and leader of project affected persons (PAPs), who had endeavored several protests in the 1980s for villagers in Raigad and Palghar district.

Ramseth Thakur, a senior member of APAC gave an ultimatum to the state government to name the upcoming airport after late D B Patil by August 15 or be ready to face another protest. His son and Panvel MLA Prashant Thakur said that all the ongoing airport work will be stalled if the decision is not taken by August 15. “The administration did not allow us to go to CIDCO Bhawan. But we will go next time if the demand of son-of-soil is not met”, said Thakur, adding that they will stall all the ongoing airport works from August 16 if a new resolution is not brought in to name the airport after late DB Patil.

While talking to the media, Shivraj Patil, Deputy Commissioner of Police of Zone 2 said that the police were in constant touch with the representatives of protestors and appealed to them to drop their plan to protest. However, they moved ahead with the protest and assembled near the NRI police station along Palm Beach Road in Belapur.

Meanwhile, protestors alleged that many of the villagers could not come for the protest due to several traffic diversions and frequent frisking by the police. However, DCP Patil refused and said that frisking is part of their work. DCP Patil said that they will make a report about the protest including the number of protestors, and send it to the state government. He added that the NRI police will file cases against representatives of APAC for undertaking the protest without permission.

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Free Press Journal