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Aurangabad rally: Pune MNS chief warns of backlash if Raj Thackeray arrested

Pune Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Sainath Babar tweeted, "The Maharashtra government would be responsible for whatever that happens in Pune if the MNS supremo is arrested by police."

By: Express News Service | Pune |
Updated: May 4, 2022 11:07:54 am
Raj Thackeray rally at Aurangabad on May 1. (Express Photo by Amit Chakravarty)

After the police registered a First Information Report (FIR) against MNS chief Raj Thackeray for his speech during the Aurangabad rally over the weekend, the Pune unit of the party warned of possible backlash in the city if their leader is arrested.

Pune Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Sainath Babar tweeted, “The Maharashtra government would be responsible for whatever that happens in Pune if the MNS supremo is arrested by police.”

On Tuesday, Babar declared that his party would go ahead with Thackeray’s directions to play Hanuman Chalisa on loudspeaker in front of the mosques that broadcast prayers through the equipment. This came despite the local police serving notices to MNS leaders and workers urging them to refrain from conducting or participating in any activity that will cause law and order problems.

Thackeray said during his Aurangabad rally on Sunday he was firm on his May 3 ‘deadline’ for removing loudspeakers from mosques across the state. He also asked Hindus to play the Hanuman Chalisa outside mosques from May 4 if the loudspeakers were not removed.

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“We will go ahead with the directions issued by the MNS chief. The party workers will be playing Hanuman Chalisa on loudspeakers wherever they are needed,” he said.

However, former city MNS chief Vasant More is reportedly out of the city. He was removed from the post of city unit chief after he publicly stated not to play Hanuman Chalisa in front of mosques saying that members of the Muslim community have always stood by him and he does not intend to disturb their peace.

The MNS chief has been booked for allegedly violating the terms and conditions imposed by the police while granting permission for the Aurangabad rally. Thackeray has been named the main accused in the case as he allegedly made provocative statements at the rally and “instigated” his supporters, according to the police.

The FIR has been registered under Sections 116 (abetment), 117 (whoever abets the commission of an offence by the public generally or by any number or class of persons exceeding ten) and 153 (wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 135 of the Maharashtra Police Act against Thackeray, organiser Rajiv Jawalikar, and other unknown persons.

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