Raj arrested, granted bail, handed over to Kalyan police

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Mumbai, Oct 21 (UNI) On a day of dramatic developments, the arrest of MNS president Raj Thackeray from Ratnagiri triggered violence and arson in several parts of Maharashtra including the Metropolis, where a Metropolitan Magistrate court in suburban Bandra granted bail but immediately remanded him in police custody in Kalyan.

The MNS leader, charged under sections 153, 336, 353, 425 and 427 of IPC, was initially sent in judicial remand till November 4 by metropolitan magistrate G R Wankhede and subsequently granted bail on an application from his counsel, after a lengthy argument.

Mr Thackeray was arrested in Ratnagiri at 0247 hrs today by a police team from Kherwadi in Bandra on charges of attacking candidates from North India, who were here to appear for a Railway Recruitment Board Examination on October 19.

Immediately after the bail was granted, the Kalyan police intervened with an application before the magistrate to seek his custody in connection with a similar case in its jurisdiction and sought a transit remand, which was readily granted by the court.

Outside the Bandra court, Police lathi-charged MNS activists, who went on the rampage, stoning buses and other vehicles and burning vehicles in the by-lanes, prompting police to burst tear-gas shells to disperse the mob. Additional police reinforcements were rushed to the area to control the situation, adjoining the busy Western Express highway, where the traffic came to a standtill.

Shops in the eastern suburbs downed shutters as rampaging MNS activists stoned BEST buses and taxis and burnt down some of the vehicles after reports of Raj Thackeray's arrest. However, the business district of South Mumbai was trouble-free and life was near-normal with local trains plying on the Western and Central Railways.

In Solapur, at least 12 trucks were torched by MNS activists on the busy Solapur-Pune Highway and in Pune some buses were stoned and others set afire. Similar incidents were reported from Kolhapur, Amravati and Nasik. In Nagpur, stone pelting incidents were reported and activists damaged at least a dozen buses. However, police brought the situation under control by evening in most of the affected areas.

Police arrested over 700 MNS activists from all over the state, including 250 in the Metropolis.

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