Violence rocks Kalyan, Thackeray to spend night in police lock-up (With ‘Mumbai held to ransom after Raj Thackeray arrest’)

October 21st, 2008 - 11:18 pm ICT by IANS  

Raj ThackerayKalyan (Maharashtra), Oct 21 (IANS) There were incidents of rioting, arson, stone pelting and clashes with police in this Thane district town Tuesday evening, as Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray prepared to spend a night in the police lock-up here.Agitated MNS activists went on a rampage, damaging or torching at least a dozen private vehicles, and 10 shops in different parts of the town.

At several places bonfires were made of goods that were looted from shops while one group attacked the Kalyan railway station. Policemen baton-charged a group of miscreants that damaged the railway station.

The activists’ ire was fuelled when it became clear that since no night magistrates were available in Kalyan or nearby Dombivili town, Thackeray would be compelled to spend a night in the police lock-up.

Thackeray, arrested early morning from Ratnagiri, is due to be presented before the magistrate here Wednesday morning.

According to tentative indications from MNS leaders, he expects to secure bail and be handed over to the Chhattisgarh Police for a court hearing in Jamshedpur.

Earlier in the day, the police in the twin cities of Kalyan and Dombivli had made preventive detentions of at least 25 MNS leaders in anticipation of Thackeray’s arrival for a hearing in the Kalyan court.

Thackeray was brought here earlier in the evening after the Kalyan police secured his custody for a case regarding attacks on north Indian candidates who were due to appear for a railway recruitment examination here last Sunday.

Earlier, Bandra Metropolitan Magistrate G.R. Wankhede had ordered 14 days judicial custody to Thackeray under various charges under sections 423, 427, 535, 107, 106(II), 506(II) of the Indian Penal Code, all pertaining to rioting, assault, damage to private and public properties, and IPC Sec 153(A), for provoking hatred among different communities.

Kalyan-Dombivli, with a population of around 800,000 middle and lower middle class inhabitants, is a semi-industrial belt from where thousands of people daily commute to workplaces in Mumbai.

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