Raj Thackeray spends night in jail

It was a day heavy with anticipation and marked by violence as Maharashtra Navnirman Sena(MNS) chief Raj Thackeray was sent to police custody for the attacks on north Indians by his party cadre on Sunday.

Zeenews Bureau

Mumbai, Oct 21: It was a day heavy with anticipation and marked by violence as Maharashtra Navnirman Sena(MNS) chief Raj Thackeray was sent to police custody for the attacks on north Indians by his party cadre on Sunday. The Bandra court gave him bail within minutes of sending him to 14 days judicial custody for beating up examinees of the railway exam in Bandra. He was however handed over to Kalyan police which immediately whisked him off to the Dombivili.
Metropolitan Magistrate G.R. Wankhede of Bandra Court No. 32 granted the bail to Thackeray in the case filed by Bandra police for the rioting by MNS activists on Sunday, on a surety of Rs 15,000. He was also asked to refrain from threatening or influencing witnesses in any manner, avoid creating any violent situation, and also report for an hour to the Kherwadi Police station for seven days, daily at 11 a.m. to help with the investigations, Memon said.

Wankhede simultaneously accepted an application moved by the Kalyan police seeking the MNS chief`s custody for attacks on north Indians in Kalyan last Sunday, said public prosecutor Majeed Memon.

The MNS chief was produced before the Bandra court after being arrested by Mumbai Police from Ratnagiri in the wee hours of Tuesday. He has been taken to Manpada police station at Dombivili.

Meanwhile, violence broke out in Kalyan, as Raj Thackeray’s supporters resorted to stone pelting and set afire several vehicles. The police had to lathicharge to tame in the rioters. The administration has, however clamped Section 144 in the town to maintain law and order.

Raj would pass today’s night in the lock up of Manpada police station. He would be produced before the court tomorrow. In a related development, Mumbai Police Commissioner Hasan Gafoor said this evening that the city police will move the Vikhroli court Thursday against Thackeray on grounds that he violated the terms and conditions under which he was released from there in February.

Earlier in the day, the police had also imposed a two-month gag order on Raj, thus preventing him from addressing public rallies and talking to the media.

Raj has been charged under Sections 153, 353, 336, 425 and 427 of IPC, police said.

Preventive arrests of MNS activists were also made in large number in order to maintain peace across the city, police said.

Meanwhile, Home Minister Shivraj Patil said that Centre has sent at least three advisories to Maharashtra government in the wake of attacks on north Indians by MNS activists.

Maharashtra Home Minister RR Patil told reporters the government may consider banning MNS.

Arrest triggers violence

Following the arrest, sporadic instances of violence were reported from various parts of Maharashtra and Section 144 was imposed in certain parts of Mumbai. MNS activists burnt a toll booth in Mulund while two buses were damaged in Bhiwandi. Violence was also reported from Nasik, Thane, Virle Parle, Juhu, Jogeshwari and Pune.

According to reports, about 350 taxis were also damaged in the violence that followed shortly after the firebrand leader was arrested.

A truck was also set on fire in Panvel.

There were also reports of some unidentified men throwing stones at the suburban resident of Congress spokesperson Sanjay Nirupam.

Incidents of stone pelting at municipal and private buses were reported here this morning following the arrest of MNS chief Raj Thackeray in Ratnagiri.

In Kothrud area, some alleged MNS activists damaged a company`s bus that was taking its employees to workplace.

Elsewhere, a few Pune Municipal Transport (PMT) buses were stoned by miscreants, police said.

In Nashik, MNS activists set ablaze a truck near PWD minister Chhagan Bhujbal`s farm this morning and also damaged another truck at Vilholi-Phata area, police said.

Incidents of stone pelting on MSRTC buses and other vehicles were reported in some areas, they said, adding vehicular traffic on the busy Mumbai-Agra-national highway was disrupted following the protest.

In Solapur, incidents of stone pelting on state transport buses around 0630 hours has also been reported, the police added.

In view of the deteriorating law and order situation due to MNS-led campaign against North Indians, Deshmukh had yesterday warned Raj and his party to immediately stop his ‘gundaraaj’