THE Pune rural police have lodged an offence against Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray for allegedly abetting the violent agitation at toll posts in the state. He was booked by the Rajgad and Loni Kalbhor police stations under Section 109 (punishment of abetment if the act abetted is committed in consequence and where no express provisions is made for its punishment) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
In his speech, claiming that toll collection in the state is done wrongfully, Thackeray had asked his party workers on Sunday to not pay the tax and thrash anyone who asks for it. The MNS workers then went on a rampage and damaged several toll posts across the state.
Apparently, a group of MNS men damaged tolls posts at Khed Shivapur and Manjari, which are under the jurisdiction of Pune rural police. Police booked them on charges of unlawful assembly, rioting and damaging public property under various sections of the IPC.
Additional Superintendent of Police Ravindrasinh Pardeshi said, “An offence against Raj Thackeray has been registered on the basis of reports in the media and clippings on news channels. We are probing these videos after which the violence started. We have arrested 15 people, including MNS corporator Vasant More, for ransacking toll posts. They have been remanded in police custody.”
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Asked whether Thackeray would be arrested, Pardeshi said, “Investigation is on. Further action would be decided on the basis of the outcome of the investigation.”
Five tolls posts in Pune city and district, along with an office of Reliance company near the New Katraj tunnel, were ransacked by the MNS activists. The first attack in city took place around 11.30 pm on Sunday in which a group of MNS activists led by corporator Rupali Patil Thombre of Shukrawar Peth damaged the toll post at Bavdhan near Chandni Chowk. An offence in this case was registered with the Hinjewadi police station. Police had also arrested Thombre along with six party workers.
Later, MNS activists attacked more tolls posts in the city and district. Police security was increased at the toll posts and cops were also able to prevent attacks at some booths.