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In court, Raj Thackeray didn't say a word

Syed Firdaus Ashraf in Mumbai | October 21, 2008 19:32 IST

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Raj Thackeray [Images] is known for his outspoken nature and provocative speeches but when produced in court after his arrest on Tuesday he preferred to keep mum and let his lawyers do the talking.

For almost an hour, the prosecution leveled charges against Raj as to how he was behaving in unconstitutional manner and therefore should not be given bail. Raj did not utter a word.

Video: Raj Thackeray's day in court

"He was keeping cool and did not say anything in the court," one of Thackeray's lawyers, Prashant Pansare told rediff.com.

Earlier in the day, Raj was taken to the Bandra-Kurla (in western Mumbai) police station where he met his lawyers and the prosecution lawyer before being produced in the court.

The media was kept out of court and the entire working of the suburban Bandra court came to halt because Thackeray's arrest.

The Maharashtra government had appointed special public prosecutors Majeed Memon and Rohini Salian to argue the case against him.

They charged Raj under Indian Penal Code sections 141, 149, 341, 353, 352, 151 and 152 and said he and his party members were promoting enmity.

"Raj kept quiet in court. We opposed bail by stating that he was involved in unconstitutional activities. He and his party members are promoting enmity between two different communities and thus endangering national unity," Salian told rediff.com.

The Maharashtra government charged Raj Thackeray after his Maharashtra Navnirman Sena supporters of ransacking a railway exam centre by beating up the students who had come from North India on Sunday.

MNS ire against railway authorities was that they did not advertise these posts in local Marathi papers and thus denied job opportunity to the local people.

However, Judge Gautam Wankhede of the Bandra court felt that Raj's offence was bailable and granted it against Rs 15,000 as surety.

The prosecution then moved another case against Raj for which Kalyan police have got a warrant. He was then sent to judicial custody till November 4 and was then told to appear before the Kalyan court.

The defence convinced the judge by stating that Raj was not even present in Mumbai when the attack on North Indian students took place. They further argued that the people who actually attacked the examination centre were all given judicial custody and had got bail.

"Our client was in Ratnagiri when the incident happened," the defence lawyers argued. "He had no role in the incidents."

Raj was then rushed to Kalyan court where he will be produced before a magistrate. "We will appeal our case in the Kalyan court on Wednesday," added Pansare.

He was hopeful because even the 20 MNS workers who were arrested in Kalyan for rioting during the examination were released the same day on bail.

"There is no direct involvement of Rajsaab and therefore I feel our case is strong for bail," added Pansare.

If his bail is rejected then Raj will be in judicial custody till November 4 but it certain that he will have to spend Tuesday night in jail.

 






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