Man from Patna with message for Raj Thackeray shot down in Mumbai

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Mumbai, Oct 27 (UNI) A gunman, hailing from Bihar, who had come to the city to pass on a message to Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) president Raj Thackeray, was gunned down by police in an exchange of fire after he kept a conductor of Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) bus hostage near Bailbazaar area in the eastern suburb of Kurla today.

BEST General Manager Uttam Khobragade said an unidentified man boarded the double-decker bus number 332, running from Kurla to Andheri station, at Sakinaka area. When the bus conductor asked for a ticket or monthly pass, he tied the conductor's hands and allegedly fired few rounds in the air.

''He was shouting 'Mai Patna se aaya hu, mujhe kisi ko kuchh nahi karna hai, mai MNS president Raj Thackeray ko message dena chahata hu' (I came from Patna. I do not want to harm anyone. I wanted to pass on a message to Mr Thackeray),'' Mr Khobragade said.

The officer further said at that time, another conductor from the same bus rushed to a nearby police station and informed them about the incident.

Police came and cordoned-off the bus, and they asked him to surrender. Instead, he allegedly fired at a police team. In the retaliatory firing that ensued, he suffered head and chest injuries and collapsed on the ground.

The injured gunman was admitted to civic-run Rajawadi Hospital at Ghatkopar, where he was declared dead on admission.

Some youths from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh had come down to the city to appear for Railway Board examination on October 19. They were assaulted by MNS activists.

Thereafter, Raj was arrested from Ratnagiri. His arrest led to statewide protests by his activists who resorted to stone pelting and arson for his release.

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