Arjun Singh seeks Centre’s intervention in MNS-SP row over migrants

February 12th, 2008 - 9:02 pm ICT by admin  

Raj Thackeray
New Delhi, Feb.12 (ANI): Union Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh on Tuesday appealed to the Central Government to step in and stop the violence being perpetrated by activists of the regional Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) in parts of Maharashtra, including in Pune and Nasik.
Protesting strongly against the growing wave of anti-north Indian sentiment, Singh said: “I can say thisthat such activities are not in the interests of the country. People should work in the interests of the country. The Congress has never given importance to such issues. The Federal government should intervene as it is a matter of law and order.”
Singh’s remarks came as MNS activists went beserk and ransacked and damaged public transport in Pune and Nasik.
In Nasik, the MNS activists indulged in acts of violence a few hours after the party had announced that Raj Thackeray, would not seek anticipatory bail ahead of his impending arrest.
MNS workers destroyed shops owned by North Indians in Nasik. Police detained at least 26 MNS workers.
The MNS has been embroiled in a controversy after its leader Raj Thackeray recently unleashed a vitriolic verbal campaign against people of mainly northern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar flocking to Maharashtra in search of jobs.
Fruits and vegetable vendors as well as taxi drivers were attacked by rampaging activists of the MNS.
“We work in such conditions and are not provided with any security. There is no police to protect us. Some 10 to 12 people came and hurled stones at our bus and ran away,” complained Vijay Bhosle, a conductor of a damaged western Maharashtra state transport bus.
Thackeray’s MNS is a breakaway faction of the Shiv Sena, which earlier used to whip up regional sentiments, espousing the cause of the Marathi speaking people of the state.
The activists of Raj Thackeray-led MNS have been targeting north Indian migrants living in Mumbai.
Last week MNS activists went on a rampage in the metropolis and damaged vehicles, besides ransacking a cinema showing a regional language film.
Thackeray, who is in the thick of the controversy, refuted any bias towards people from other states, saying he was only speaking against the show of political clout during traditional festivals.
But other political parties reject the argument saying the MNS was pandering to regional chauvinism for political mileage.
The Mumbai Police had lodged a First Information Report (FIR) against Raj on Monday.
The FIR was registered at Vikroli police station. Raj is booked under non-bailable Section 153A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for inciting voilence in the city. (ANI)

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