Raj, Azmi arrested, released on bail, 1 dead in violence

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Mumbai, Feb 13 (UNI) On a day of swift developments, police today arrested Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray and Samajwadi Party leader Abu Asim Azmi for making provocative speeches, igniting violence in the Metropolis and other parts of the state, with Nashik bearing the brunt of the mob fury leading to death of a person, but both were released on bail in the evening.

Two days after registering FIR's against the two leaders, the police finally arrested them this afternoon. The MNS chief's arrest fuelled violence in Nashik, Aurangabad and Vidharbha region of Maharashtra.

Both Mr Thackeray and Mr Azmi were released on bail on a personal bond of Rs 15,000 and Rs.10,000 respectively in two different courts. Mr Thackeray appeared before metropolitan magistrate B K Sharma, while Mr Azmi was produced before metropolitan magistrate R B Agarwal.

Paramilitary forces have been deployed in sensitive areas all over the state and Deputy chief minister R R Patil asserted that all measures had been taken to ensure peace.

Even though Mumbai was relatively calm, the violence was more intense in Nashik, where a Hindustan Aeronautics employee, Ambadas Dharrao (50) was killed in heavy stone pelting on a company bus. One more person was injured in the incident.

In Nashik, there was a self-imposed ''bandh'' since morning as shop-keepers preferred to down their shutters for the day.

Stone pelting incidents were reported from different parts of the state with civic and state transport buses bearing the brunt of the attacks.

Violence had initially erupted in the city on February 3 when the SP held its rally at Shivaji park, addressed by its leaders Mulayam Singh Yadav and Amar Singh. The MNS activists went on a rampage, targeting North Indians in the city and subsequently attacked migrants in Pune, Nashik and Vidharbha region of the state.

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