Mumbai: Members of Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) on Monday barged into the premises of Central Railway (CR) in Mumbai and allegedly threatened and harassed a woman employee over her demand to an RTI applicant (which had been written in Marathi) to submit his application for seeking information in either Hindi or English.
Scores of workers, including a few women, assembled in front of the Commercial Department office at around 11 am on Monday and then went to the desk of Swati Sinha who, according to Railway officials, had asked an RTI applicant to submit his application in Hindi or English since the one given in Marathi was not legible.
According to MNS, the RTI application given in Marathi should have been accepted by the lady employee.
“MNS workers politicised the issue unnecessarily. They harassed our officer mentally which they should have avoided,” said a railway officer, requesting anonymity.
The officer, however, said they have not filed a formal police complaint since they do not way to escalate the issue.
Meanwhile, railway activists slammed the act of MNS workers and said they should have handled the issue with decency.
“If they had any issue related the language, they should have approached officers or filed a complaint against the lady employee….or filed an appeal with appellate authority,” said Rajiv Singal, former Divisional Railway Users Consultative Committee (DRUCC) member of Mumbai Division, CR.
Narendra Patil, Chief PRO of CR said, “CR has been giving hundreds of RTI applications in Marathi.”
“Our employee had simply asked for submission of a fresh application, in Hindi or English, as content was not legible,” said Patil.
However, MNS spokesperson Vageesh Saraswat strongly defended the act of his party men and said, “Anyone who works in Maharashtra must know Marathi language and culture. No one can be spared for this be it a male or female.