Raj Thackeray submits written reply to police

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Mumbai, Mar 5 (UNI) Senior counsel Ashok Mundargi, representing Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray, today submitted a written reply to the city police pertaining to the showcause notice issued to his client about the extension of 'gag order'.

In the reply Mr Mundargi stated that when the notice was issued to his client Mr Thackeray, there was ''no emergency-like situation'' in the city and other parts of state. So, why was the notice issued to his client?.

He has also pointed out to the department that no law and order problem arose during the signature campaign launched by MNS activist across the state in support Mr Thackeray.

Thirdly, he has stated that freedom of speech and expression is the right of every individual, so banning Mr Thackeray from delivering speeches was the violation of fundamental rights of the citizen of the country as per the Constitution.

Speaking to mediapersons here, Joint Commissioner of Police (law and order) K L Prasad, while confirming receipt of Thackeray's reply, said ''The deputy commissioner of police (operation) and legal advisor will take the decision on it within couple of days.'' He said law was equal to all, if any person tried to violate it, stern action would be taken against such person.

The police had issued a showcause notice to Mr Thackeray on last Monday asking why the 'gag order' should not be extended against him? Mr Thackeray was asked to reply to notice within 24 hours.

On February 3, the MNS chief had made provocative remarks against North Indians, ahead of a rally organised by Samajwadi Party (SP) at Shivaji Park here, which led to the violence in the metropolis and other parts of the state.

On February 11, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Operation) had slapped ''gag order'' u/s 144, restraining him from holding public rallies, 'dharnas' and press conferences till midnight of February 25, which was further extended till March 3.

UNI ST SSS MS KN1944

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