Mumbai: In a development that took many in Mumbai by surprise, Jashodaben on Friday joined members of an NGO on a day-long token hunger strike in support of slum dwellers here.

Jashodaben — whose arrival was not known even to the local police — was flanked by five National Security Guard commandos as she joined the volunteers of NGO Good Samaritan Mission to demand a halt to demolitions of slums in Mumbai during the monsoon.

Jashodaben in a file photo. PTIJashodaben in a file photo. PTI

Jashodaben in a file photo. PTI

“Every year, we witness the inhuman spectacle of hundreds of slums being demolished just before or during the monsoon and people being thrown out in the streets. We are demanding that the authorities concerned should put a stop to this practice,” Brother Peter Paul Raj, Good Samaritan Mission founder and ex-aide of Mother Teresa, told IANS at the protest venue.

Jashodaben sat on the token hunger strike for a few hours before departing without much fanfare.

Brother Raj said Jashodaben’s presence and support would prove invaluable for the cause of the slum dwellers and their children who are the worst sufferers of demolition activities.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to launch the high-profile Make In India Week in Mumbai on Saturday evening in the presence of a galaxy of VVIPs, including three foreign heads of governments.

Prime Ministers Juha Petri Sipila, Kjell Stefan Lofven and Algirdas Butkevicius of Finland, Sweden and Lithuania, respectively, will join Modi at the inaugural function at National Sports Club of India ground, Worli.

Also present will be Maharashtra Governor CV Rao, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, several union and state ministers, secretaries of various departments, diplomats, top industrialists and businessmen from across India and other stakeholders.

IANS

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Ahead of PM Modi’s Mumbai visit, Jashodaben goes on hunger strike in support of slum dwellers