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Raj Thackeray gets 2-week judicial custody

October 21, 2008 07:34 IST
Last Updated: October 21, 2008 16:18 IST

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Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray [Images], who was arrested early Tuesday morning, has been sent to two-week judicial custody by a court in suburban Bandra in Mumbai where he was produced around 2.50 pm.

Two truckloads of Rapid Action Force personnel were stationed outside the court for security. 

Even before Raj Thackeray was produced in the Bandra court in Mumbai, over 2,000 slogan-raising supporters had gathered there, and the police resorted to a lathi-charge to bring the situation under control around Tuesday noon.

MNS supporters resorted to stone-pelting at police vehicles outside the Bandra court. The supporters also stoned a police van carrying detained MNS activists.

Reports from across Mumbai spoke of voluntary bandh at many places, and many schools shut down for the day anticipating trouble.

Local trains reported a slight delay, while there was no disruption in road traffic on the main arteries.

Violence erupted in several parts of Mumbai and Maharashtra following the arrest of MNS chief Raj Thackeray in the early hours of Tuesday from the Circuit House in Ratnagiri district, Maharashtra.

Angry activists of the MNS came out on the streets after the arrest of Raj Thackeray and attacked several taxis and autorickshaws at Mumbai Central, Parel, Borivali and other parts of the city.

Incidents of arson were also reported from the Mulund check naka in the eastern suburbs. A mob of party workers have also blocked the Mumbai-Goa highway.

The police said security has been beefed up across Mumbai to meet any eventuality in the wake of the arrest of Raj Thackeray. The State Reserve Police has also been deployed near Raj Thackeray's residence in Dadar.

Raj Thackeray was arrested under several Indian Penal Code sections, including assault, obstructing government officials from discharging their duty and giving provocating speeches.

Raj Thackeray was arrested for Sunday's brutal attack on north Indian railway exam candidates by MNS workers.

A case was registered in this connection against Raj Thackeray and his supporters at the north-west Mumbai police station of Kherwadi, after MNS workers attacked 13 railway board examination centres in suburban Mumbai to protest against "inadequate representation" to locals.

The arrest of the MNS chief comes against the backdrop of mounting pressure on the Maharashtra government to rein in Raj Thackeray and his activists.

Earlier, a combative Raj Thackeray had justified Sunday's attack on north Indians and warned the state that it will have to "regret" the consequences in the event of his arrest.

"Arrest me and be ready to bear the consequences.... You will have to regret," Raj Thackeray, who was attending a ceremony at Bahadursheikh Naka in Chiplun in the state on Monday, said.

"If Raj is arrested, entire Maharashtra will be set on fire," he threatened.

Meanwhile, incidents of violence were reported across Mumbai allegedly by the MNS activists.

Taxis parked at Tardeo in south Mumbai were damaged by some unknown miscreants who fled on motorcycles, the police said.

Two separate incidents were reported in the north-west suburb of Borivali where miscreants attempted to burn trucks, they added.

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

Meanwhile, schools in suburban Mumbai have been closed as a preventive measure following the arrest of MNS chief.

Bsides, security has been beefed up in Mumbai to thwart any untoward incident, the police said.

Reacting sharply to his leader's arrest, MNS spokesperson Shirish Parkar said, "There was no substance in the allegations against Raj Thackeray. The state government was acting at the behest of the Centre."

Parkar described the arrest of Raj Thackeray as "vengeance" and political "conspiracy" by the Maharashtra government.

Additional Reportage: Syed Firdaus Ashraf and UNI

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