MNS attack North Indian candidates at Railway Board exam centres

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Mumbai, Oct 19 (UNI) Reviving their agitation against North Indians, Raj Thackeray led-Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) activists today attacked North Indian candidates at 12 Railway board examination centres in the city and adjoining Thane district to protest 'inadequate' representation to locals.

The candidates were allegedly prevented by the activists from appearing at the examination centres, including Sion, Ghatkopar, Thane, Kalyan, Dombivli, Vashi, Bhayander, Nallasopra and Nerul.

They allegedly chased away the North Indian candidates after tearing their answer papers, to protest the ''inadequate'' representation to the locals, police said, adding they had arrested around 12 MNS activists in this connection, including a Shiv Sena corporator from Nerul, Vijay Mane.

This is the biggest protest by the MNS workers since they targetted North indian migrants last February in several parts of the state. In November 2003, Shiv sena supporters had disrupted a Railway board examination in Kalyan by preventing candidates from other states to appear.

MNS supporters stopped the examination and tore away answer papers of North Indian candidates at Vidya Bhavan high school in Ghatkopar.

They also pelted stones at the candidates, police said.

In Thane, the North Indian candidates were attacked at Kalyan and Dombivali railway stations last night by MNS activists.

However, barring Sion and Ghatkopar, the examination was completed in other centres in the city with police protection.

Meanwhile, Munna Tripathi, president of Uttar Bharatiya Vikas Parishad, affiliated to the NCP, has demanded arrest of MNS chief Raj Thackeray within 24 hours for the recurring attacks on the North Indians. He warned that all the North Indians in the NCP would resign from the party if the state government fails to take appropriate steps.

The BJP's Uttar bharatiya cell said they would take out a morcha to the residence of the State Home Minister R R Patil and demand his resignation for 'failure' of police to check the attacks.

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