Popcorn price row: Raj Thackeray’s party men thrash theatre manager, say ‘dealt with him MNS style’

New Delhi: Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) workers abused and beat a movie theatre manager in Pune on Thursday during a protest over high prices of food items in the theatre.

In a video that was widely circulated on the internet, MNS workers were seen slapping and abusing the manager.

In his clarification, MNS worker Kishor Shinde, who thrashed the manager, said, “Popcorn worth Rs 5 is being sold at Rs 250 despite Bombay High Court saying that the price needs to be reduced. We told the manager to read news reports, he said don’t know how to read Marathi. Then we dealt with him MNS style.”

The workers slapped the manager of the movie theatre and also called him names further saying that he was a shirker.

The Bombay High Court on Wednesday observed that prices of food in multiplexes are high. “The prices of food and beverages sold in multiplexes are exorbitant. Sometimes, some food articles there are more expensive than even the movie tickets,” the bench had said.

“We understand if the state can’t permit the public to carry food from home. But, then why can’t it step in and regulate the prices of food sold inside the cinema theatres,” it said.

The bench also noted that senior citizens or those suffering from some medical condition such as diabetes, often need to eat at regular intervals and that they can’t always eat what is sold at the multiplexes.

“Basically, you (the association, multiplex owners etc) are compelling the public to purchase and consume what you sell at a price that suits you,” the bench said.

The bench has directed the state to file an affidavit within four weeks clearing its stand on introducing necessary regulations.

This isn’t the first time that MNS workers had been involved in such an incident. Last week, four ‘drunk’ MNS workers were booked, and out of them two were arrested for allegedly vandalising a restaurant in Mahim and thrashing one of the restaurant’s staff after being refused free drinks. The alleged workers also didn’t pay the bill and argued with other customers and got into a heated argument with the staff who tried to intervene.

(With agency inputs)

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