The Mumbai Police Thursday imposed section 144 of CrPC (banning unlawful assembly) outside the Enforcement Directorate (ED) office in south Mumbai, where MNS chief Raj Thackeray has come for questioning in connection with a money-laundering probe. Heavy police presence has been deployed outside the ED office.
“The area outside the ED office has been covered with barricades from three sides of the building and there is just one way to enter or exit,” PTI quoted a police officer as saying. The move was taken apprehending law and order problems, the officer said.
Meanwhile, MNS leader Sandeep Deshpande, wearing a T-shirt with “EDiot Hitler” emblazoned on it, was taken into custody by police Thursday morning. MNS has distributed these T-shirts to people.
Thackeray has repeatedly appealed to his party workers not to protest over the issue and “cause no hardships to common people”. On Monday, MNS workers had announced a bandh in Thane district, but called it off on Raj Thackeray’s directions.
Police personnel have been deployed in Dadar and other places where MNS has a stronghold. There are reports of MNS leaders being rounded up. On Wednesday, Mumbai Police served notices to party functionaries under section 149 of CrPC as a precautionary measure, PTI reported. Section 149 pertains to prevention of cognisable offences. One MNS worker, Pravin Chowgule, allegedly immolated himself on Wednesday because he was upset over the ED notice to Thackeray.
The ED is probing alleged irregularities relating to loans and equity investment worth over Rs 450 crore by IL&FS in Kohinoor CTNL Infrastructure Company, which is developing Kohinoor Square tower in Mumbai’s Dadar area. Former Maharashtra chief minister and senior Shiv Sena leader Manohar Joshi’s son Unmesh Joshi was also summoned by the ED in this case.
In 2005, Joshi’s son along with IL&FS and Raj Thackeray-owned Matoshree Construction jointly bid for the NTC’s Kohinoor Mill, buying the 4.8-acre property for Rs 421 crore. Raj Thackeray had subsequently exited the consortium in 2008.