Mumbai, Feb 13:Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray was arrested today, after his recent remarks against North Indian settlers in the metropolis had led to violence against them. Samajwadi Party Lok Sabha Member Abu Azmi was also arrested for "promoting" enmity between groups.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Ashok Phadtare went to Raj Thackeray's residence in Dadar in North Central Mumbai and after completing the legal formalities, took him into custody. Mr Thackeray will be taken to the Vikhroli court in the eastern suburbs in whose jurisdiction the FIR has been lodged by the police last Sunday. MNS spokesperson Shishir Shinde said that Mr Thackeray would not apply for bail in the court. The arrest took place following a high-level meeting headed by Deputy Chief Minister R R Patil with top police brass at the state headquaters here this afternoon.
Thereafter, the police top brass directed DCP Phadtare to rush to Mr Thackeray's residence to complete the legal formalities before he was taken into custody. Mr Thackeray was taken to Vikhroli to be produced before the court, around 1625 hrs under tight security.
Abu Azmi was later granted bail.
On Sunday last, police had registered a case against Mr Thackeray at the Vikhroli police station under sections 117, 151 and 153 (a) of the Indian Penal Code for allegedly making provocative speech against North Indians that sparked violence in Mumbai and elsewhere in the state.
The MNS workers had manhandled some North Indians, and damaged their property such as taxis and shops.