A couple of days after his May 1 “provocative speech” at a rally that reportedly “incited his supporters”, MNS chief Raj Thackeray was booked by the Aurangabad Police on Tuesday.
Mumbai: A day after the end of Maharashtra Navanirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray’s deadline to stop playing loudspeakers at mosques, defiant party workers said that they will not stop protesting till the state government complies with the Supreme Court orders on the removal of loudspeakers from mosques and other religious places.
Amid the row, reports of mosques playing the Azaan through loudspeakers came in from across the state, including Parbhani, Osmanabad, Hingoli, parts of Jalna, Nanded, Nandurbar, Shirdi and Shrirampur. Meanwhile, reports of playing loudspeakers at a low volume came in from a few areas.
MNS chief, who had announced to recite the Hanuman Chalisa in front of mosques if they do not remove the loudspeakers, said his party workers are being targeted. On Wednesday, the police informed that over 250 workers have been taken into preventive custody. Their detention was made when they were gathered outside Raj Thackeray’s residence. In Pune, eight MNS workers were detained.
Talking to the media, Raj Thackeray said that he has been receiving calls from several parts of the state and outside. He claimed that his party workers are being detained and are being served notices by law enforcement agencies. He said the issue is “not only about mosques and there are several temples with illegal loudspeakers”.
He said that if mosques fail to adhere to the Supreme Court guidelines, then the Hanuman Chalisa will be played at double volume. “This is not a one-day’s issue. Students and ill people suffer because of loudspeakers. Is your religion bigger than people?” asked Thackeray.
Since Thackeray’s May 3 deadline had come to an end, the law enforcement agencies on Wednesday made adequate preparations to maintain law and order in the state. Deployment of adequate police force was reportedly made at sensitive areas while policemen were asked not to go on leave. Senior police officials have also visited areas in their jurisdiction.
A couple of days after his May 1 “provocative speech” at a rally that reportedly “incited his supporters”, the MNS Chief was booked by the Aurangabad Police on Tuesday. The organiser of the rally Rajiv Jawalikar was also booked for allegedly violating the terms and conditions imposed by the police before granting permission to the rally.
The police had said that around 16 terms and conditions were imposed on the rally while giving permission and some of the conditions were also violated during the rally.
The police had informed an FIR has been lodged against the duo under Sections 116 (Abetment of offence), 117 (Whoever abets the commission of an offence by the public generally or by any number or class of persons exceeding ten) and 153 (Wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot—if rioting be committed—if not committed) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 135 of the Maharashtra Police Act.
It had added that Thackeray was named as the main accused in the case and it has been alleged that he delivered provocative statements that reportedly “instigated” his supporters.
At a rally in Aurangabad, Thackeray had batted to silence the loudspeakers played at mosques and had asked his supporters to play the Hanuman Chalisa on loudspeakers in front of mosques as a “tit for tat”. The action against Thackeray came after Maharashtra police Rajnish Seth had said he would take action against Thackeray for his speech.