Raj defies police, holds march against Aug 11 violence

MNS holds rally against Aug 11 violence

MUMBAI: Defying the Mumbai police, which refused him permission for a rally from Girgaum Chowpatty to Azad Maidan, MNS chief Raj Thackeray today led his supporters’ march against August 11 violence during a demonstration against alleged atrocities on Muslims in Assam and Myanmar.

Though the MNS has got permission for a public meeting at Azad Maidan, the police did not give a go ahead to the party’s march from Girgaum Chowpatty apprehending breach of peace.

The police, however, did not make any attempt to detain either Thackeray or his supporters when they assembled in thousands at the Chowpatty for the march.

MNS supporters carrying the party’s blue, saffron and green flags with its election symbol train engine embossed in the middle, gathered at Girgaum Chowpatty before Thackeray joined them in a ‘symbolic’ march after a brief stopover at Siddhivinayak temple.

Thackeray stepped out of his Toyota Land Cruiser briefly to speak to his supporters at the Chowpatty before quickly making his way out of the crowd in his vehicle.

Thousands of policemen have been deployed and traffic regulated for the MNS protest which has been peaceful so far.

His supporters beating drums and carrying flags scurried after the leader, who is said to be seeking to capture the Hindutva space hitherto occupied by the Shiv Sena.

Thackeray has called the rally to protest the violence on August 11 and alleged failure of the state administration and Mumbai police to control it. He has demanded ouster of state’s Home Minister R R Patil and Mumbai Police Commissioner Arup Patnaik.

Two demonstrators were killed and 52 others, including 44 policemen and media persons, injured when a protest against alleged persecution of Muslims in Assam had turned violent. -PTI

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