Mumbai: Raj Thackeray's Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) is in trouble for taking out a protest march from Girgaum Chowpatty to Azad Maidan without police permission. An FIR has been registered at DB Marg police station against MNS General Secretary Shirish Sawant and others for going ahead with the march from Girgaum Chowpatty to Azad Maidan.
However, police officials refused to answer when asked if Raj Thackeray's name was also included in the list of others. "MNS General Secretary Shirish Sawant and others were booked at DB Marg police station under section 37 (1) and 135 of the Bombay Police Act for carrying out procession without permission," a police officer said.
Raj Thackeray had led thousands of his supporters on the 5-km long route on Tuesday to protest against the August 11 violence in which two persons were killed and 52 others, including 44 policemen and media persons, injured when a protest over Assam riots turned violent.
Mumbai Police had denied Thackeray the permission for the march, and only asked him to hold a protest rally at Azad Maidan. He, however, undertook the protest march after a brief stopover at Siddhivinayak temple with the police standing as mute spectators as thousands of MNS workers gathered at Girgaum Chowpatty for the march.
Several thousand MNS supporters beating drums and carrying the party's blue, saffron and green flags with its election symbol train engine in the middle walked with Thackeray.
Thackeray demanded that Maharashtra Home Minister RR Patil and Mumbai Police Commissioner Arup Patnaik should resign immediately while addressing his supporters at Azad Maidan and claimed that the duo was aware that those who had gathered at the venue of August 11 to protest against the Assam riots were planning to indulge in violence, but neither of them took the necessary action to stop it.
(With additional information from PTI)