Tuesday, February 5, 2008
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Deccan Herald » Scroll » Detailed Story
Mumbai continues to simmer
Mumbai, DHNS, Agencies:
Security was stepped up in Mumbai amidst sporadic incidents of violence for the second day on Monday after the Sena splinter group leader Raj Thackerays outbursts against north Indians.

Vandals allegedly threw bottles at Amitabh Bachchan’s home which was  denied by the police.

Thackeray, who came under all-round attack for allegedly stoking divisive politics, faced charges of encouraging attacks against North Indians after Samajwadi leader Amar Singh filed an FIR before the police early on Monday. He told mediapersons that he would also approach the Election Commission to seek derecognition of the MNS for targeting North Indians and unleashing violence.

Meanwhile, Raj has issued a statement from Pune saying that whatever he had said about the North Indians was a “reaction” and he did not initiate it.

Police, who said the situation was under control, said eight more persons were arrested on Monday for indulging in acts of violence taking the total number to 33 since Sunday. The arrested include activists of Thackeray’s Maharashtra Navnirman Sena(MNS) and Samajwadi workers.

A group of persons were nabbed as they attempted to burn an effigy of Raj Thackeray in the Chirag Nagar area of the north eastern suburb Ghatkopar on Monday afternoon, police said.

Two taxis were damaged and their drivers assaulted by suspected MNS workers outside the Shiv Sena headquarters in Dadar.

Suspected Samajwadi Party activists tore-off some posters put up by the MNS in Colaba, DCP (Zone I) Brijesh Singh said.

In another incident, Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan’s palatial bunglow Prateeksha at Juhu was attacked by two miscreants and his effigy was burnt by the MNS activists on Monday.

Although some TV crew had captured footage of the miscreants throwing bottles and speeding away, Juhu police station’s senior inspector Deepak Katkare said he had personally visited both homes of Big B - Prateeksha and Jalsa - and found out that no such incident had occurred.

“We have not launched any hunt because there was no attack in the first place,” he said. Not taking any chances, security at both homes have been stepped up.

However, Raj Thackeray has quickly distanced himself from the attack on Bachchan’s home which was described as an act of cowardice by Amar Singh.

However, his own supporters burnt an effigy of Bachchan at Shivaji Park in Dadar, the venue of Sunday's public meeting of SP and UNDF. Bachchan, who was in Jaipur for a film shoot, refrained to comment.

 In neighbouring Thane, MNS activists attacked Pratap cinema hall and stopped screening of a Bhujpuri film there. A theatre on Grant Road here too was attacked, while one theatre was attacked in Nasik for screening Bhojpuri films.

There were unconfirmed reports that some persons suspected to be from the MNS allegedly went into a local train armed with TV cameras, picked up a north Indian passenger and assaulted him.

The police arrested 22 MNS and three SP activists in connection with the violence. They were set free on bail by a metropolitan magistrate on Monday. 

 “We have not launched any hunt because there was no attack in the first place,” he said. Not taking any chances, security at both homes have been stepped up. However, Raj Thackeray has quickly distanced himself from the attack on Bachchan’s home which was described as an act of cowardice by Amar Singh.

However, his own supporters burnt an effigy of Bachchan at Shivaji Park in Dadar, the venue of Sunday's public meeting of SP and UNDF. Bachchan, who was in Jaipur for a film shoot, refrained to comment.  In neighbouring Thane, MNS activists attacked Pratap cinema hall and stopped screening of a Bhujpuri film there. A theatre on Grant Road here too was attacked, while one theatre was attacked in Nasik for screening Bhojpuri films.
There were unconfirmed reports that some persons suspected to be from the MNS allegedly went into a local train armed with TV cameras, picked up a north Indian passenger and assaulted him.

The police arrested 22 MNS and three SP activists in connection with the violence. They were set free on bail by a metropolitan magistrate on Monday.   A high level of alert was maintained all over the city on Monday.

The Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh ordered a high-level inquiry into the violence. He said his government would ensure safety of all those who are residing in Mumbai. Talking to reporters in Vidhan Bhavan after opening the 14th All India Whips' Conference here, Deshmukh said the Director General of Police and the Mumbai Police Commissioner have been directed to conduct a probe into the violence.  “Nobody is above the law,” he said when asked whether Raj Thackeray would be arrested.

Amid raging controversy over Raj Thackeray’s controversial comments against non-Maharashtrians, Samajwadi Party (SP) on Monday approached the Election Commission for de-registration of his Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS).

SP general secretary Amar Singh petitioned the EC that action be taken against the MNS and its leaders as Thackeray has been issuing “veiled as well as open threats” against non-Maharashtrians.

comment on this article
Comments
by milindGkolkar on 2/5/2008 5:00:08 PM
Raj Thackeray is only trying to gain popularity for his new party. This is pretty well planned, timed and adapted from his mentor's ways of making headlines in politics. The rest is collateral damage but he will succeed in politics in future and these incidents will fade away in the mist of time.
 
by pat on 2/5/2008 5:27:28 AM
No doubt, MNS is disturbing peace. But what is more disturbing is, UP politicians who routinely violate EC laws are getting chance to interfere in political landscape of Maharashtra. Targeting north indians is wrong, rather target anyone who breaks the law of this land, state and city, be they west,east, north or south indians.
Jai Hind !
Jai maharashtra !
 
by Laxmidas A. Sawkar on 2/4/2008 4:10:46 PM
It stupid of Raj to incite such outrage. No matter where he started the college it is not important,one has to be thankfull somedody is doing something to educate Indian Girls, who otherwise will be exploited by people like Raj T.
 
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