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Maharashtra Navniram Sena (MNS) rasta roko: Raj Thackeray detained

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Maharashtra Navniram Sena(MNS) chief Raj Thackeray was put under preventive arrest by the Mumbai police on Wednesday morning while he was enroute to protest against road tolls on the outskirts of Mumbai.

Earlier this week Mr. Thackeray had announced a state-wide rasta roko on February 12 against toll collection. But on Tuesday, he told the press that they will carry a peaceful protest in view of the Standard 12 practical examinations.

At 10.15 a.m., Mr. Thackeray started from his residence in Shivaji Park in Central Mumbai along with his wife Sharmila Thackeray, MNS leader Bala Nandgaonkar and host of party workers.

His entourage was making it way to Vashi toll booth in Navi Mumbai, a satellite township of Mumbai.

At 11.00 a.m. when his entourage reached Chembur in Central Mumbai, he was stopped by a team headed by the additional commissioner of Police Mr. Praveen Salunkhe. The police team took him under preventive custody and Mr. Thackeray was put in a police van and taken to RCF police station.

Meanwhile, Ms. Sharmila Thackeray and other party workers continued their protest outside the RCF police station.

“Mr. Thackeray has been detained for violating the notice issued under section 149 of the Code of Criminal Procedure(CrPC),” Hemant Nagrale, who is currently holding charge as the Commissioner of Police, Mumbai told The Hindu.

On Tuesday morning, the Mumbai police served a notice under section 149 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) was on MNS chief Raj Thackeray. The notice warns him not to commit any cognisable violence or break the law. Later in the evening, Mr. Thackeray had told the press that, “We will block the highways from 9 am onwards but institutions including schools and colleges inside cities will not be affected.”

He had also claimed that the office of Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan had contacted him to urge him to call off the protest.

Over 1000 MNS party workers and leaders have been detained by the police across the state in view of the agitation called by the leader.

The Maharashtra police have deployed 1.8 lakh of its personnel and also pressed into service contingents of Rapid Action Force (RAF) and State Reserve Police Force (SRPF).

Two weeks ago the MNS had attacked toll booths across the state after Mr. Thackeray’s diktat at a rally. Three cases have since been registered against him for inciting violence and rioting.

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