The Maharashtra Police also launched a statewide crackdown against MNS workers, office-bearers with over 15,000 arrests, notices to 14,000, detaining a few leaders in some areas, and seizing loudspeakers
AURANGABAD/MUMBAI — The political temperature in Maharashtra soared as Aurangabad police on Tuesday filed a FIR against Maharashtra Navnirman Sena President Raj Thackeray for alleged violations of police conditions at his mega-rally held in that city late on Sunday.
Simultaneously, a Mumbai Police team is likely to go and serve a prohibitory notice under CrPC’s Section 149 on Raj Thackeray, even as senior MNS leaders expressed apprehensions of his possible arrest in the case.
On a complaint lodged by Sub Inspector Gajanan Ingle, the City Chowk Police Station lodged the case against Raj Thackeray and others who organised the May 1 rally for alleged utterances that could incite public passions and disturb peace, flouting police conditions permitting the rally at the MSC Grounds.
The developments came after the Aurangabad police teams went through Raj Thackeray’s entire speech with a fine tooth-comb, saw CCTV footage, quizzed locals, etc. as all major parties like the ruling MVA (Shiv Sena-Nationalist Congress Party-Congress), the Samajwadi Party, the Sambhaji Brigade, the Bhim Sena, the Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana, the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi, and others demanded stringent action against him, including arrest.
Earlier on Tuesday, Home Minister Dilip Walse-Patil held meetings with Director General of Police Rajnish Seth, Mumbai Police Commissioner Sanjay Pande and other top officials, followed by a meeting with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Sena MP Sanjay Raut.
DGP Seth had said before that the Maharashtra Police would initiate action against Raj Thackeray “today itself” – a day ahead of his ‘Now OR Never’ ultimatum to the state government to remove loudspeakers from all mosques by Wednesday (May 4) failing which his workers would blare Hanuman Chalisa at double volumes.
The Maharashtra Police also launched a statewide crackdown against MNS workers, office-bearers and others with over 15,000 arrests, notices to 14,000, detaining a few leaders in some areas, and seizing loudspeakers stored for probable use from Wednesday.
RPI(A) workers will protect mosques, says Athawale
Meanwhile, Union minister Ramdas Athawale on Tuesday said workers of his Republican Party of India (A) will protect mosques if anyone tried to remove loudspeakers from there forcibly.
The Union minister of state for social justice and empowerment said his party would ensure the Muslim community does not face injustice, reports PTI.
“We are not against playing Hanuman Chalisa outside a mosque. But our opposition is to Maharashtra Navnirman Sena’s demand of bringing down loudspeakers from mosques. The RPI (A) workers will protect mosques if someone tries to forcibly remove loudspeakers from mosques,” he told reporters.
“Instructions can be given to lower the volume of these loudspeakers. The BJP may have supported the demand of the MNS, but that does not mean my party is in favour of such a move. If Raj Thackeray gives an ultimatum to have these loudspeakers removed, then workers of my party will protect mosques,” Athawale added.
There should be no disputes between Hindus and Muslims, Athawale said.
— IANS (with inputs from PTI)