If you are a common man and if you are caught destroying property, you could be easily sent to jail. However, if you are a member of a political party, you can vandalize property at will and everyone will look the other way. This was evident today, as MNS workers in Mumbai vandalized stalls of hawkers in Thane and Kalyan. The MNS workers were protesting against the congestion created by these illegal hawkers at various railway stations in Mumbai. Last month, more than 20 people were killed in the stampede at the Elphinstone Road station and it was alleged that the incident had happened due to congestion created by illegal hawkers. Illegal hawkers should definitely be removed from railways stations, but the same should be done by proper authority such as the local municipality and the police.
However, the actions of MNS workers clearly showed that they think they are law unto themselves. Around 25 MNS workers came to the Thane railway over bridge and vandalized and evicted the illegal hawkers. Earlier, the MNS had given 15 days ultimatum to the government to clear the congestion at railway stations, failing which, the party had said that it will take matters into its own hand. Since, the railways had failed to evict the illegal hawkers, the MNS workers today took law into their hands and vandalized the hawker stalls. No police action has been taken since no formal complaint has been filed against the MNS workers.