Probe into Mumbai BEST bus shootout: Deshmukh

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Mumbai, Oct 28: Vilasrao Deshmukh, the Maharashtra Chief Minister has ordered enquiry in Monday Oct 27's BEST bus shootout in which a Bihari youth, Rahul Raj has been killed. CM said that a high level committee would conduct an inquiry into the shootout incident to ascertain whether his killing could have been avoided.

"The DGP and Mumbai Police Commissioner have sought details. They will inquire into all aspects of the incident, including how the armed youth got into the public transport bus and whether his killing could have been avoided." Deshmukh said to presspersons. "I spoke to Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and also to the Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil and assured them that the inquiry report would be submitted soon," he said.

"We will submit the factual report to the Centre," Deshmukh added.

On Monday, Oct 27 the Mumbai Police shot dead Rahul Raj, a 26-year-old native of Patna, inside a BEST bus (Bombay Electric Supply and Transport) in the Kurla suburb. Police said that Rahul died in exchange of fire with police after attempts to persuade him to surrender failed.

Rahul had entered a private bus in the Bail bazaar area around 9.00 am and threatened conductor and passengers with a revolver. He said that he have a message for Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray. But the bus conductor later said that Rahul wanted to kill Raj Thackeray, which is fuelling anti-immigrant rhetoric in the state.

On Oct 19, MNS activists had attacked North Indian railway job aspirants in Mumbai prompting calls for Raj's arrest and for the party to be banned.

He was arrested on Oct 21 for rioting and provoking attacks on migrants. His arrest sparked protests in Maharashtra and a backlash on migrants across the country.

However, on Oct 22, Raj Thackeray was given bail in Mumbai after spending a night in jail.


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