No one behind violence will be spared: Deshmukh

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Mumbai, Feb 4 (UNI) Condemning Sunday's violence against North Indian migrants in the metropolis and other places in Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh today warned of strict action against perpetrators of violence and said the guilty, irrespective of their stature, will not be spared.

Talking to reporters in Vidhan Bhavan after inauguration of the 14th All India Whips' Conference here, Mr Deshmukh said the Director General of Police (DGP) and the Mumbai Police Commissioner have been directed to conduct a probe into the violence.

To a question on whether MNS president Raj Thackeray will be arrested for his provocative speeches, Mr Deshmukh said that nobody was above law including himself, and if credible evidence comes up against anybody in the investigation, they will be dealt with sternly, irrespective of the stature of the person.

Mr Deshmukh said he has directed the police machinery to ensure that mischief makers are not emboldened to disrupt peace elsewhere in the state. The state government and the police will provide full protection to all citizens of the state no matter which part of the country they come from.

Mr Deshmukh appealed to all political parties to maintain peace and not act in a manner which is not befitting the cosmopolitan nature and unity of the city. ''Occurrence of such incidents when our economy is booming, show us in bad light and affects the entire country,'' he added.

Samajwadi Party's Maharashtra unit president Abu Asim Azmi, a Rajya Sabha member, who wanted to meet Vice President Hamid Ansari in Vidhan Bhavan, could not do so. He tried to meet Mr Ansari when he came out of the Vidhan Bhavan building, but was pushed away by the security personnel.

Mr Ansari, who is also chairman of the Rajya Sabha, warmly shook hands with Mr Azmi and boarded his car. The Samajwadi Party leader, then pulled out a cloth banner from his socks and waved it to the media. The Vidhan Bhavan security personnel, immediately, accosted him and asked him to leave the premises.

Mr Azmi tried to argue, but in vain. The security personnel first insisted Mr Azmi to hand over the banner and when he refused, they forced him out of the premises and snatched away the banner.

Mr Azmi, who was accompanied by just three supporters, shouted slogans against the state government and left the place in his white BMW.

Later, talking to reporters, Mr Azmi demanded a judicial inquiry into Sunday's attacks on North Indians in the city and other places, immediate arrest of the MNS president and dismissal of the 'ineffective' state government.

Congress MLA and prominent North Indian leader here, Kripashankar Singh criticised the comments of Mr Azmi and Mr Thackeray and said that such remarks which are intended to create fissures in the society need to be nipped in the bud. ''I have appealed to the Chief Minister to take cognizance of their utterances and take necessary action. Actions by MNS activists, of beating up innocent migrant population, is not Maharashtrian culture. This is a sign of corrupt mentality,'' he added.


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