An case has been registered against Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) party workers who on Saturday “raided” homes in Pune’s Balajinagar area suspecting families to be “illegal Bangladeshis”. The men were taken to police stations and, after providing documentary evidence of being Indians from West Bengal, released in the evening.
One of the three men, Roshan Shaikh (34), had submitted a complaint to Sahkar Nagar Police Station, demanding that MNS men be booked for trespassing and criminal intimidation on Sunday.
The police registered an FIR late Monday night against MNS leaders Ajay Shinde and Sachin Katakar along with eight other unnamed persons. They have been booked under Indian Penal Code sections 143 (unlawful assembly) 147 (rioting), 448 (trespassing) and 506 (criminal intimidation) among others.
Following a public rally by MNS chief Raj Thackeray in Mumbai on February 9, in which he demanded that illegal immigrants from Bangladesh and Pakistan be located and thrown out of the country by police or else party workers would take up the task on their own, MNS workers in Mumbai and Pune have conducted vigilante-style raids at homes where they suspected that illegal immigrants from Bangladesh were staying.
In Pune’s Balajinagar, a group of about nine to 10 MNS workers (about 50 workers as per MNS press note) led by MNS city chief Ajay Shinde and worker Sachin Katkar barged into Gulmohar Apartments accompanied by police personnel and entered the houses of Shaikh, Bappi Sardar and Dilshad Hassan accusing them of being illegal Bangladeshis and demanding to see their documents. Although they showed the documents to prove that they were Indians, all three were taken to Sahakar Nagar Police Station.
As per the application submitted by Shaikh via lawyer Tosif Shaikh, police officials asked him to call his mother in Hooghly (West Bengal) and made her go to the nearest police station and confirm Shaikh’s credentials.