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MNS rasta roko: Raj Thackeray arrested and released

RASHMI RAJPUT, The Hindu, Feb 12, 2014

  • The police team take Raj Thackeray under preventive custody.
    The HinduThe police team take under preventive custody.
  • Sharmila Thackeray (centre) is seen protesting inside the compound of RCF police station in Central Mumbai along with MNS party workers.
    The HinduSharmila Thackeray (centre) is seen protesting inside the compound of RCF police station in Central Mumbai along with party workers.
  • Mr. Thackeray detained for violating the notice issued under section 149 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).
    The HinduMr. Thackeray detained for violating the notice issued under section 149 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).
  • Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray talks to media in Mumbai on Tuesday. Photo: Vivek Bendre
    The HinduMaharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray talks to media in Mumbai on Tuesday. Photo: Vivek Bendre

Maharashtra Navniram Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray was released by the Mumbai police on the condition that he will return to his residence in Central Mumbai and not proceed to Vashi toll booth on Wednesday.

“I request all my party workers not to take law in their hands and carry a peaceful agitation. The Chief Minister has called to discuss the road toll issue at 9 a.m. on Thursday and I will attend it,” Raj Thackeray told the press, minutes after he was let off by the Mumbai police.

Earlier this week Mr. Thackeray had announced a state-wide rasta roko on February 12 against toll collection. But on Tuesday, he told the press that they will carry a peaceful protest in view of the Standard 12 practical examinations.

At 10.15 a.m., Mr. Thackeray started from his residence in Shivaji Park in Central Mumbai along with his wife Sharmila Thackeray, MNS leader Bala Nandgaonkar and host of party workers.

His entourage was making it way to Vashi toll booth in Navi Mumbai, a satellite township of Mumbai.

At 11.00 a.m. when his entourage reached Chembur in Central Mumbai, he was stopped by a team headed by the additional commissioner of Police Mr. Praveen Salunkhe. The police team took him under preventive custody and Mr. Thackeray was put in a police van and taken to RCF police station.

Meanwhile, Ms. Sharmila Thackeray and other party workers continued their protest outside the RCF police station.

On Tuesday morning, the Mumbai police served a notice under section 149 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) was on MNS chief Raj Thackeray. The notice warns him not to commit any cognisable violence or break the law. Later in the evening, Mr. Thackeray had told the press that, “We will block the highways from 9 am onwards but institutions including schools and colleges inside cities will not be affected.”

He had also claimed that the office of Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan had contacted him to urge him to call off the protest.

Reacting on Mr. Thackeray’s preventive detention, Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan told the press that the state government had invited Mr. Thackeray to discuss the issue but he dishonoured the request.

“We had called him for a talk but he rejected our proposal and decided to go ahead with his plan,” Mr. Chavan told the press.

Over 1000 MNS party workers and leaders were detained by the police across the state in view of the agitation called by the leader.

The have deployed 1.8 lakh of its personnel and also pressed into service contingents of Rapid Action Force (RAF) and State Reserve Police Force (SRPF).

Two weeks ago the MNS had attacked toll booths across the state after Mr. Thackeray’s diktat at a rally. Three cases have since been registered against him for inciting violence and rioting.

Read more — http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/mns-rasta-roko-against-toll-plazas-begins-in-maharashtra/article5680113.ece

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