Saturday, February 9, 2008

Raj warns of fresh attacks on north Indians
Shiv Kumar
Tribune News Service

Mumbai, February 9
More than four days after the Maharashtra government threatened to arrest Raj Thackeray, the leader of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena today warned of fresh attacks on North Indians if they did not behave.

Clearly unapologetic about the incidents of the past few days, when members of the MNS attacked migrants from North India, Thackeray said such incidents were a response to their political mobilisation.

The North Indians, Raj Thackeray alleged, were using their religious festival Chhath Puja “to show their strength and browbeat the Marathi people”.

“I am not against Chhath Puja. But what I oppose is that it is used as a means to show strength,” Thackeray said.

Earlier, while calling the press conference, Raj Thackeray’s men prevented television journalists of English and Hindi channels from covering the event. Reporters of even print media, who were not of Marathi origin, were prevented from entering the press conference venue.

Justifying his decision, Raj Thackeray said the English and the Hindi media were biased against the Marathi people by supporting the North Indians in their coverage. Thackeray reserved his vitriol for the

Hindi channels calling them “bhaiyya” channels, using the popular term to describe all North Indians on the streets of Mumbai.

“We should not be blamed for the last week’s incidents. It is the Samajwadi Party and its city president Abu Asim Azmi, who are responsible.

‘Hum lathi baatenge’. I say we will retaliate by distributing swords to our people,” Raj Thackeray said.

He further warned that the MNS would repeat its attacks on North Indians if required.

Raj Thackeray further reiterated that the entry of outsiders into Mumbai be restricted. “New migrants should not be allowed to enter the city, while those already here must learn to respect the Marathi ‘manoos’ and their culture,” he said.

Earlier today, the Maharashtra Times published an article featuring Raj Thackeray, which further insulted North Indians. Thackeray poked fun at Amitabh Bachchan’s ‘chora ganga kinarewala’ stand and asked him to develop his own state rather than throw his weight around in Maharashtra.

“I am here to protect Marathi culture from the ‘goondaism’ of UP and Bihar,” Thackeray said. He further appealed to the Marathi-speaking people to join him in his struggle.

“If the Prime Minister can rake up the issue of ban on turbans for the Sikhs in France when the French President came to India, if Karunanidhi can take up the issue of problems of Tamils in Malaysia with the Malaysian government, if the Hindi channels in Mumbai spew venom against Maharashtra while supporting the people from UP and Bihar, then how come I am dubbed as a ‘goonda’ when I speak about the self-respect of the state?”

Raj further thanked Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh for not putting him behind bars for an incident at his son’s school yesterday.


International PFA said...

Mumbai, February 10
With estranged cousin Raj Thackeray and his Maharashtra Navnirman Sena hogging all the limelight following the attack on North Indian migrants to Mumbai, executive president of the Shiv Sena Uddhav Thackeray is feeling left out.

On Saturday while Raj held his press conference threatening to repeat the attack on North Indians “if the Marathis were provoked”, Uddhav was at the Chattrapati Shivaji International Airport asking officials to send back migrant workers brought in to redevelop the facility.

“There are going to be one lakh jobs for airport works. If you bring outside workers, then they will be packed off in a parcel and sent back in a cargo plane,” Uddhav said.

He further warned Mumbai International Airport Ltd (MIAL) to specifically redevelop the structure so that it reflects the Maharashtrian ethos by putting up welcome signs in Marathi.

Shiv Sena activists this morning stormed the airport premises and smashed window panes and show windows that had markings in English.

Uddhav's trade union, the Bharatiya Kamgar Sena is strong among airport workers and the Shiv Sena wants to use this body to monitor recruitments done by MIAL and its sub-contractors.

The Shiv Sena heir apparent also used the occasion on Saturday to hit out at Raj Thackeray. "Every Marathi person knows the close links the Shiv Sena has with the community," Uddhav said.

He further accused his cousin without naming him as an interloper trying to claim the affections of the people.

International PFA said...

Security stepped up at Raj Thackeray's residence

Mumbai (PTI): Security was today beefed up at the house of MNS chief Raj Thackeray and all entrances barricaded ahead of his possible arrest after a case was registered against him for making provocative statements against north Indians.

Media personnel trying to reach Thackeray's residence were told to wait several meters away.

A senior police official said on Monday that Thackeray and SP leader Abu Asim Azmi will be arrested for making provocative statements which resulted in incidents of violence across the city last week.

"The cases have been registered on the basis of certain evidence and arrest is mandatory," Joint Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) K L Prasad said on Monday.

However, Prasad had refused to disclose when the arrests would be made and said the charges under which Thackeray and Azmi had been booked were non-bailable and cognisable.

The city police had registered cases on Sunday night against Thackeray and Azmi at separate police stations under sections 153 (wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot), 153 A (promoting enmity between groups on the basis of place of birth, residence, etc), 153 B (assertions prejudicial to national integration) and 117 (abetting the commission of an offence by the public), he said.

Incidents of violence in the city, specifically targeting north Indians, began on February 3 after Thackeray launched a verbal assault against the community.

The case had been filed against Thackeray at the Vikhroli police station on account of a speech made by the MNS chief in the suburb ahead of SP rally on February 3, Prasad said.

International PFA said...

Cases filed against Raj, Azmi for promoting enmity

Mumbai (PTI) Cases have been registered against MNS chief Raj Thackeray and Samajwadi Party leader Abu Asim Azmi for allegedly "promoting" enmity between groups and "provoking" incidents of violence in the city, a senior police official said on Saturday.

A case was registered against Thackeray at the suburban Vikhroli police station in north east Mumbai last night, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone VII) D Karale told PTI.

A case was also registered against Azmi at the Shivaji Park police station, he said.

"The FIR has been filed under sections 153, 153 A and 153 B of the IPC against Raj Thackeray and further investigations are on in the matter," Karale said.

Thackeray has been booked under sections 153 (wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot), 153 A (promoting enmity between groups on the basis of place of birth, residence, etc) and 153 B (imputations, assertations prejudicial to national integration). Azmi has also been booked under similar charges.

However, Karale refused to comment on whether Thackeray or Azmi would be arrested in the case.