indefinite curfew was clamped Wednesday in most parts of Kalyan town where Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray is being held in a police lock-up after being arrested for inciting violence against North Indians. Thackeray's wife was staging a sit-in to demand a meeting with him with party workers in attendance, an official said.
The police said Thackeray's wife Sharmila could meet Raj, but she demanded that party office-bearers must also be allowed to meet him. The police refused to allow that.
The police baton charged Raj supporters who defied the curfew and came out in large groups on the roads leading to Kalyan court. He is scheduled to appear in court at 2 p.m. Wednesday.
The authorities have also deployed Rapid Action Force (RAF) and State Reserve Police (SRP) to help the local administration maintain law and order.
The town in neighbouring Thane district, about 70 km from Mumbai, was rocked by group clashes leading to police baton charge, widespread arson, damage to private and public property, damage to the railway station and general mayhem as the MNS chief was brought there Tuesday evening.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Posted by Chetan Jadhav at 4:21 PM
Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray was arrested from Maharashtra's Ratnagiri town early Tuesday, prompting large parts of this city to shut down as his supporters went on the rampage torching public transport and telling office goers to return home.
Many shops and commercial establishments, especially those run or managed by non-Maharashtrians, chose not to open at all to avoid trouble.
Thackeray, whose MNS workers Sunday attacked non Maharashtrians appearing for the railway board examination, was brought from Ratnagiri, about 250 km from here, to be produced at the Bandra court.
There was mayhem outside the court premises with large crowds milling around restively and camera crews waiting to capture the trouble.
While in some areas, buses, taxis and autorickshaws were set on fire, in others areas public transport just stayed off the roads causing great inconvenience to people. However, suburban trains on the Western and Central Railways and Harbour Line functioned as usual.
The office of the state Congress spokesperson Sanjay Nirupam was also vandalised.
As news about the arrest spread, there was violence in other parts of Maharashtra too.
Thackeray was arrested from a government guest house in Ratnagiri district at about 4 a.m. along with other party workers like Sanjay Ghadi and Pravin Darekar in connection with the beating up of some north Indian candidates at a railway recruitment examination centre in Chetana College, Bandra East, police said.
This is the second time in eight months that Thackeray has been arrested for his tirade against north Indians.
Posted by Chetan Jadhav at 3:52 PM