All India Minorities Front gives 72 hours to Raj Thackeray to mend his ways

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New Delhi, Feb.13 : The All India Minorities Front (AIMF) today threatened to launch a nation-wide againtation against Raj Thackeray, the leader of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), if he did not mend his ways and avoided targetting north Indians and non-Maharashtrians.

AIMF President S. M. Asif said the target of his agitation would be Maharashtrians living states other than Maharashtra.

Stating that Thackeray's broadsides against non-Maharashtrians must end forthwith, Asif he was surprised by the silence of the Central and Maharashtra Governments, and added that a "tit for tat" response should be given to Thackeray.

"The madness of Raj Thackeray has reached its height, and such insane acts of a person of unstable mind who is bent upon breaking the country in the name of support of a handful of fundamentalists, cannot and should not be tolerated and needs to be reciprocated in the same voice," he said.

He said that if the attacks on North Indians did not stop within the next 72 hours, the AIMF would start targeting Maharashtrians in other states,the consequences of which shall have to be borne by the silent spectator government and Raj Thackeray himself.

Asif's warning came as the general secretary of the Nasik unit of the MNS, Vasant Gite was detained on Wednesday. Three other MNS leaders were also taken into preventive custody.

The total number of arrests in Nasik has gone up to 126 since Tuesday, a police official said.

Though Raj Thackeray and and Samajwadi Party leader Abu Azmi were granted bail after being charged with promoting enmity between groups, the states of Maharashtra, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh remain tense in the expectation of a further fallout from the agitation of the past four days.

Reports said Thackeray was granted conditional bail on furnishing a bond of Rs 15,000. Granting bail, the court asked Thackeray not to speak to media and move out in a group of more than five persons.

Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister R R Patil said that Raj Thackeray's arrest showed that the state government will not let anyone take law into his own hands.

Thackeray and Azmi were booked under sections 153 (wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot), 153 A (promoting enmity between groups on the basis of place of birth, residence, etc) and 153 B (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national integration).

The case against Raj was registered at the Vikhroli police station and against Azmi at Shivaji Park police station.

Mumbai Police have confirmed that the situation is under control, but violence has been reported at Nasik, Dahisar, Pune, Pimpri and Chinwad in Maharashtra.

ANI

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