<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after some of its members were attacked by hawkers in Vikhroli, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray told party’s office-bearers that he did not want his workers to get beaten up. “I want workers who will beat up others,” Thackeray told his men at a meeting on Monday.Raj exhorting his men to violence is likely to escalate the tension between MNS and the Congress party that has taken up hawkers’ cause.Mumbai Congress president Sanjay Nirupam warned Raj to stop ‘goondagardi’ or else his men will frequently get beaten up.”The Vikhroli incident is humiliating. I don’t want a repeat. If we can’t protect ourselves, how will we pick up people’s cause?” Raj is said to have asked his men during a closed-door meeting. His son Amit is said to have visited the injured party men at a hospital.Nirupam claimed Congress followers intervened only after MNS activists started vandalising shops. Cross complaints were registered with the Vikhroli police who arrested two Congress workers on Monday. They have been charged with attempt to murder. Four MNS workers were arrested on charges of rioting.According to the police, around 8:30 pm on Sunday, Vikhroli’s MNS ward chief Upendra Shewale, Vinod Shinde, Vishwajit Dholam and a few other party workers went to Kannamwar Nagar area in Vikhroli to distribute pamphlets.A few shopkeepers surrounded them and soon, a scuffle broke out between them.One of the shopkeepers hit Dholam with a paver block. Shinde, Dholam and Shewale were grievously injured, with one of them suffering a skull fracture. A few shopkeepers were also injured and were rushed to Sion Hospital. The five MNS workers were admitted to Fortis Hospital.”We have arrested Congress workers Abdul Ansari, the prime accused, and Rizwan Malik for attempt to murder and four MNS workers — J N Dandekar, Kisan Gavkar, Ashok Jadhav and Santosh Gawli — for rioting,” said Sanjay More, senior police inspector of Vikhroli police station.

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Want men who can batter, not get battered: Raj Thackeray