We intend to prosecute Raj Thackeray without fail: Cong

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New Delhi, Oct 21 (UNI) The Congress today said it had collected hard evidence to legally prosecute Raj Thackeray, who had been arrested for instigating activists of his Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) to attack north Indian railway recruitment board examinees in Mumbai.

''We have hard evidence against him. He has been booked under substantial sections of IPC such as 153 A, 426 and 427,'' Congress spokesman Abhishek Singhvi told reporters.

''We intend to prosecute Thackeray without fail,'' he said.

Mr Singhvi said the Congress Government in Maharashtra would oppose every step taken by the MNS to create chaos in Mumbai.

''Raj Thackeray had threatened that Mumbai would be on fire if he was arrested. Now we have set up the challenge by arresting him,'' he said.

He denied that there was any delay in arresting Thackeray, saying legal prosecution took 2-3 days to collect evidence.

Asked why no action was taken against him earlier, Mr Singhvi said Thackeray had earlier been careful in not crossing the line.

In the same breath, the Congress Spokesman blamed the BJP and its allies for being silent on the Mumbai attacks and the anti-Christian violence in Orissa.

''What is BJP's stand on Orissa and Maharashtra?'' he asked.

He said the north Indians were only treated as vote bank by the BJP and its allies.

''Whether it is the BJP or the Shiv Sena or the MNS, they all practise the same branch of divisive and communal politics.... They all treat north Indians as vote bank,'' he said.

UNI YJ RL AS1825

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