Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray was detained and placed under preventive custody at Sion bridge for staging a ‘rasta roko’ on Wednesday to protest against toll collection in the state. The MNS leader was later released.
Thackeray was taken into police custody near Somaiya ground in Sion by a team led by Salunkhe, which also included Dhananjay Kulkarni, DCP Zone 5. Thackeray was taken into a police van, which then proceeded towards Priyadarshini Circle at Sion.
Heavy police deployment and barricades had already been set up at the circle, and hundreds of MNS party workers following the police van were stopped at the Circle.
Thackeray has been taken to the RCF police station in Chembur, where he is currently been held. MNS party workers continue to gather outside the police station, raising slogans amidst heavy police deployment.
Mumbai Police have also arrested MNS MLA Pravin Darekar and Shalini Thackeray, wife of Raj Thackeray’s cousin Jeetendra. More than 300 MNS workers including women had taken part in the protest since 9.30 am affecting traffic at the flyover in Dahisar.
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The protest remained largely non-violent even as MNS workers deflated more than five BEST buses on the Western Express Highway near the toll naka. Police have detained around 250 workers and hurdled them into BEST buses. The State Reserve Police Force (SRPF) and riot control police disallowed the workers from vandalising the toll booth.
The state-wide ‘rasta roko’ against toll plazas called by MNS chief Raj Thackeray began on Wednesday, with reports of several protesters being taken into custody for disrupting traffic at many places across the state.
Earlier, police took MNS workers into custody at several places including Pune, Ahmednagar and Vasai. Tyres were burnt in Thane, while in Pune MNS workers deflated tyres of some vehicles.
The stir has commenced despite police serving a notice to Raj warning against participating in the agitation. (With PTI inputs)