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Let us be united.............Raj Thackeray.

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Past Member (0)
Sunday February 10, 2008, 5:41 pm
Mumbai, February 10
With estranged cousin Raj Thackeray and his Maharashtra Navnirman Sena hogging all the limelight following the attack on North Indian migrants to Mumbai, executive president of the Shiv Sena Uddhav Thackeray is feeling left out.

On Saturday while Raj held his press conference threatening to repeat the attack on North Indians “if the Marathis were provoked”, Uddhav was at the Chattrapati Shivaji International Airport asking officials to send back migrant workers brought in to redevelop the facility.

“There are going to be one lakh jobs for airport works. If you bring outside workers, then they will be packed off in a parcel and sent back in a cargo plane,” Uddhav said.

He further warned Mumbai International Airport Ltd (MIAL) to specifically redevelop the structure so that it reflects the Maharashtrian ethos by putting up welcome signs in Marathi.

Shiv Sena activists this morning stormed the airport premises and smashed window panes and show windows that had markings in English.

Uddhav's trade union, the Bharatiya Kamgar Sena is strong among airport workers and the Shiv Sena wants to use this body to monitor recruitments done by MIAL and its sub-contractors.

The Shiv Sena heir apparent also used the occasion on Saturday to hit out at Raj Thackeray. "Every Marathi person knows the close links the Shiv Sena has with the community," Uddhav said.

He further accused his cousin without naming him as an interloper trying to claim the affections of the people.

Mary Riley (999)
Monday February 11, 2008, 10:22 am
A very dangerous situation, that could escalate internationally. Thank you for the alert!

Past Member (0)
Tuesday February 12, 2008, 8:01 pm
Mumbai, February 12
The situation in Maharashtra, particularly in parts of Mumbai, continued to be tense following reports of attacks on North Indian migrants and their properties in different parts of the state by suspected activists of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS).

With reports of the police preparing to arrest MNS chief Raj Thackeray, activists of the party went on the rampage in many parts of the state.

The police said shops and homes belonging to migrants from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar had been damaged in Pune, Nashik, Aurangabad, Beed and other parts of Maharashtra. After shops belonging to migrants were burnt at Nashik and Pune, several major markets in these towns remained closed as small businessmen fled, fearing violence.

After several commercial complexes were damaged at Nashik, security was tightened. Reports from the town said at least one businessman had been admitted to hospital in a serious condition after he was attacked by MNS activists. So far, 25 activists of the MNS had been arrested for the attack, the police said.

Six municipal corporators in the Nashik Municipal Corporation belonging to the MNS have been put under preventive arrest.

In Pune, shopping complexes owned by members of the Marwari community were targeted, with several establishments being damaged by MNS activists. In parts of the town, members of the party were asking migrants to leave Pune, leaving the place exclusively for Maharashtrians, sources said.

Reports said migrants in towns like Aurangabad, Beed, Nashik and Pune were leaving for their home towns in anticipation of violence. The exodus started after MNS activists arrived at shanty towns and hutments housing the migrants and asked them to leave within 24 hours if they valued their lives, reports said.

In Mumbai, shops and business establishments in the Central Mumbai areas of Dadar, Worli, Prabhadevi and Shivaji Park areas were shut, as there were reports of Raj Thackeray being arrested and produced before a Vikhroli court today. However neither Thackeray nor Abu Azmi, president of the Mumbai unit of the Samajwadi Party who faces similar charges, have been arrested so far.

Azmi appeared before senior police officials today and demanded that he be arrested right away. However, the officials turned him away on the grounds that investigations were not complete.

Meanwhile the Maharashtra government has asked the central government for reinforcements before going ahead with the arrest of Thackeray and Azmi, sources said. While contingents of the State Reserve Police Force and the Rapid Action Force are camping in different parts of the state, central security forces are also likely to be deployed in the city over the next two days, said sources.

Outside Raj Thackeray’s residence today, the police cleared media persons camping outside the building and asked them to remain a short distance away.

Police officials said they did not want Raj Thackeray to give sound bytes to the media, as he has been prohibited from addressing public meetings or holding press conferences under the offences he has been charged with. Senior police officials also said that telecommunication facilities provided to Raj Thackeray might be cut off if he sought to speak to the media over the telephone.

However, MNS activists close to Raj Thackeray have been briefing reporters on their chief’s game plan. Raj Thackeray, his aides said, will not apply for anticipatory bail and will let himself be arrested.

Meanwhile, all top leaders of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena have gone underground, anticipating police action against them. Over the past week, several of them were called to the nearest police station and had cases filed against them. Though only a few senior leaders were charged with rioting, office-bearers at the local level are not taking any chances and have gone into hiding.

Past Member (0)
Wednesday February 13, 2008, 5:40 am
MUMBAI: Raj Thackeray was granted conditional bail on Wednesday evening for a sum of Rs 15,000. Earlier in the day Thackeray and Azmi had been arrested.

Azmi was granted bail within an hour of his arrest for an amount of Rs 10,000.

There were incidents of violence across the state after his arrest.

Past Member (0)
Wednesday February 13, 2008, 5:41 am
MUMBAI: Samajwadi Party leader Abu Asim Azmi was arrested on Wednesday on the charge of promoting between groups and granted bail within an hour by a court here after he furnished a bond of Rs 10,000, his lawyer said.

Azmi, picked up from his Colaba residence, was produced before the Bhoiwada court in Central Mumbai immediately after his arrest.

Though the police sought Azmi's custody, the magistrate granted him a judicial custody for 14 days time upon which his lawyers moved a bail plea successfully, his lawyer A Q Usmani said.

The media was not allowed inside the court room.

Azmi, an MP, has been charged with making inflammatory statements at a political rally in Shivaji Park on February 3.

The police had registered case against him on February 10 at the Shivaji Park police station under IPC sections 153 (wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot), 153 A (promoting enmity between groups on the basis of places of birth, residence etc), 153 D (assertions prejudicial to national integration) and 117 (abetting the comission of any offence by the public).

Past Member (0)
Wednesday February 13, 2008, 3:25 pm
Mumbai, February 13
Chief of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) Raj Thackeray was arrested today nearly two weeks after his supporters ran riot on the streets of Mumbai attacking North Indian migrants. After picking up Raj from his residence in Dadar in Central Mumbai, the police produced him before a magistrate’s court at Vikhroli. Shortly after 6.30 pm he was granted bail on a surety of Rs 15,000

Police sources said Raj had been charged with promoting enmity among different communities and questioning the national integrity of India.

At the court, the prosecution’s lawyer prayed that Raj be remanded in 14 days’ police custody since he had a past history of creating disharmony in society. The prosecutor also submitted that Raj, during his past stint with the Shiv Sena, was instrumental in instigating attacks on migrants.

There was high drama across Maharashtra in the morning after news leaked out from Mantralaya, the state government secretariat, that Raj and Abu Azmi, Rajya Sabha MP and president of the Samajwadi Party’s Mumbai unit, would be arrested later in the day. Soon contingents of Rapid Action Force and Riot Control troops were sealing sensitive areas of the city.

Deputy Chief Minister R.R. Patil, who was out of town, rushed to Mumbai after senior police officials like DGP P.S. Pasricha sought the final nod to arrest Raj. Sources in the Maharashtra Home Department told this reporter that top police officials and bureaucrats were fine-tuning the process for Raj’s arrest for most of last night.

Early this morning, Raj’s father-in-law and well-known Marathi drama director Mohan Wagh arrived to extend support to the MNS leader. Wagh later told reporters that he had extended his support to his son-in-law for his campaign advocating the rights of the Marathi manoos. “The response that Raj is getting shows who is the true representative of the Marathi manoos,” Wagh said apparently referring to Uddhav Thackeray and the Shiv Sena.

Incidentally, Wagh is a confidant of Uddhav’s father Bal Thackeray and had had an association which went back four decades.

Finally at a little past noon this afternoon, a team of 16 senior police officials and some 200 constables arrived at the Dadar residence of Raj to record his statement. However, high drama preceded the entry of police officials into the building where the MNS chief lives with his family. The offices of the MNS are also located in the same building. The police said members of Raj’s family and his supporters prevented it from entering into the house for some time.

It was allowed to enter the building after senior police officials intervened. For the next one hour, the police team questioned Raj on his statements at public rallies earlier this month which sparked off violence by members of his MNS. The media was generally kept out of bounds while this process was on.

Even as Raj was being arrested, office-bearers of his party said he would not seek bail. Political observers say the party would be able to consolidate its vote bank substantially as a result of his arrest. After playing second fiddle to the Shiv Sena, activists of the MNS are coming out on their own.

Meanwhile, across Maharashtra there has been tension following Raj’s arrest. A spontaneous bandh was observed in central Mumbai for the second day today as traders anticipated violence. Activists of the MNS burnt buses and trucks and stoned vehicles in different parts of Maharashtra.

In Nashik, at least one person was killed after a state transport bus was stoned by the MNS activists. The police said one more person was seriously injured in the incident. At least 10,000 migrants from UP and Bihar left the city in the morning in anticipation of violence.

Incidents of violence have also been reported from Pune, Jalna, Beed, Aurangabad and Latur in the state. Suspected activists of the MNS targeted public property, including state transport buses.

Though contingents of the Rapid Action Force and the CISF were deployed in many parts of the state, the police could not control violence by MNS activists who adopted hit-and-run methods of attacks.

More than 200 activists of the MNS were arrested across the city. However, the sources said many of the activists had gone underground and were coordinating with party activists from undisclosed locations.

Meanwhile the police also arrested Samajwadi Member of Parliament Abu Azmi under the same charges as Raj. Azmi was arrested from his house in Colaba and taken to the Bhoiwada court in South Central Mumbai. However, he was released on surety of Rs 10,000.

Meanwhile, in Aurangabad, senior MNS leader and elder brother of late Pramod Mahajan, Prakash Mahajan was arrested along with eight MNS workers as they resorted to “rasta roko” in the Kranti Chowk area in the heart of the city.
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