Action against Raj, Azmi only after investigations: Pasricha

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Mumbai, Feb 12 (UNI) Ending all speculations over the imminent arrest of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray and Samajwadi Party (SP) state president Abu Asim Azmi, the police top brass today made it clear that any action would be taken only after the completion of investigations.

Addressing a joint news conference here, State Director General of Police Dr P S Pasricha, along with city Police Commissioner D N Jadhav, said ''We are professionals and therefore only after thorough investigations we would decide on the course of action needed to be initiated in this case.'' ''Investigations will be completed as soon as possible and will not drag on for months. After we get the investigation report, we will decide on the next course of action,'' Mr Pasricha said.

The police top brass appealed to the people to maintain law and order, and not to panic.

They also appealed to the media, especially electronic, not to show old clippings of voilence and urged them to maintain peace and communal harmony.

Speaking about the overall situation in the city, Mr Jadhav said the investigations were in progress and added that there was no political pressure on them regarding whether some people should be arrested or not.

He further said ''The police would base their decisions only on the investigations reports, which will be with us soon. The law is equal for all and no person, big and powerful, will be spared if the investigations find him to be guilty.'' Echoing the same view, Dr Pasricha said the investigation was in progress and it would be too soon to form an opinion on the complicity of anyone at this juncture.

''We will complete the investigation early and then take action accordingly,'' he reiterated.

Mr Jadhav informed that the police had arrested 213 MNS workers in Mumbai since the outbreak of violence in the metropolis. Sixteen SP workers too have been arrested. The police have also made preventive arrests which include 201 MNS workers and 47 SP workers.

Speaking about Maharashtra, excluding Mumbai, Dr Pasricha said 16 cases have been registered so far comprising 39 arrests, while 143 preventive arrests have been made.

Dr Pasricha also gave the figures of incidents happening in the last two days in the state with the maximum number of incidents being reported in Beed which was seven, followed by Pune, where three incidents of stone pelting have been reported in which six buses were damaged, while a handcart had been overturned there.

Three incidents were also reported in Latur, he said.

In Mumbai, two taxies were damaged at Kala Chowkie area, while one incident of voilence was reported each from Aurangabad and Nasik. In Chiplun, two men were manhandled inside a factory, while protestors burnt a tyre in Nasik, the Commissioner of Police added.

UNI ST/GS SSS JT KN2052

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