Raj Thackeray faces 73 rioting cases in Maharashtra
Mumbai: MNS president Raj Thackeray is facing as many as 73 criminal cases in various courts all over Maharashtra for allegedly inciting riots which broke out after his arrest in connection with anti-North Indian tirade launched by his party in 2008, police said.
Of the 73 cases, Raj has appeared in six cases and secured bail. In the rest of the cases he has yet to appear in person and get bail, official sources told a news agency.
So far, he has appeared in Bhadgaon and Chopra courts in Jalgaon district and in four other cases in Gangapur area of Aurangabad, they said.
Raj will have to appear one by one in all the cases to secure bail and face the trial if the courts frame charges against him. In all the cases, Raj is represented by well known criminal lawyer Sayaji Nangre.
In a case against Raj in Balnapur area of Jalna, the MNS president had moved the Aurangabad bench of Bombay High Court challenging non-bailable warrant issued by a Magistrate.
After hearing Raj`s lawyer, the High Court called for records and proceedings in the case filed at Balnapur and stayed the non bailable warrant on February 17 this year.
Interestingly, the allegations contained in this case are similar to the charges levelled in all the 73 rioting cases.
Lawyer Sayaji Nangre argued that when riots broke out, MNS president was in jail as he was arrested and so he could not have incited people to indulge in rioting.
The MNS leader was arrested on October 21, 2008 in Ratnagiri for the anti-North Indian agitation launched by his party.
Following his arrest, riots broke out in Mumbai and various parts of Maharashtra and several cases were registered against Raj and his supporters.
In some places, MNS workers allegedly damaged public transport buses and also indulged in rioting.
In the cases registered at Gangapur, Raj has been booked under IPC Sections 143 (unlawful assembly), 341 (wrongfully restraining persons), 336 (rash and negligent act endangering life of others), 427(mischief) and 109 (abetment).
On February 22, Raj had surrendered in a court in Jalgaon, in another case of rioting and was released on bail.
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