In a pre-dawn arrest, Raj Thackeray was picked up by police and faced a litany of charges including inciting violence and will spend the night in a lock-up despite getting bail in one case sparking sporadic violence in Mumbai and parts of Maharashtra.
Raj, who had dared the Deshmukh government to arrest him, was produced before the metropolitan court in Bandra which granted him bail in one of the cases in the suburb but police quickly took him back in custody for a similar case in neighbouring Dombivali, in Thane district and whisked him away.
Since he could not reach in time, Raj will be produced before a court in Kalyan on Wednesday and will have to spend the night in Manpada police station in Dombivali, his lawyers said.
Raj has four cases registered against him including those at Kherwadi and Kanjurmarg in Mumbai and ones at Thane and Dombivali, SPP in the Kherwadi case Majid Memon said.
In Kherwadi case, Thackeray has been charged with provoking riot, assaulting public servants, endangering public safety of others, causing mischief and damage to property.
Raj Thackeray, while being granted bail by a magistrate’s court in connection with a case registered at suburban Kherwadi, has been instructed not to make any inflammatory speeches.
Additional Metropolitan Magistrate G Wankhede while granting bail to Thackeray instructed him to abstain from making any provocative speeches, Special Public Prosecutor Majeed Memon said.
The MNS leader was also instructed to appear before the police and register his attendance and not to influence any witnesses in the case, he said.
According to Memon, Raj Thackeray will spend the night in jail.
Memon said, “No one is above law. You might be the star political leader, but you are answerable to court.”
The lawyer said he emphasised to the court “the gravity of Raj Thackeray’s crime.”
Earlier, Mumbai police issued a gag order under section 144 against Raj Thackeray banning him from addressing a press or public gathering, or carrying out any procession for the next two months.
Police on Tuesday resorted to lathicharge to disperse the MNS workers who were protesting outside Bandra Metropolitan Magistrate court where the party chief Raj Thackeray was produced following his arrest.
Maharashtra Director General of Police A N Roy said that police will deal “effectively” with those resorting to violence in the wake of Raj Thackeray’s arrest.
“We were anticipating violent reaction after Raj’s arrest. We carried out large number of preventive arrests. We have arrested around 1,900 persons so far,” Roy told a news channel.
“We will deal with them effectively. People can go about their jobs,” he said.
Roy also made it clear that Raj’s arrest was in connection with attack on Railway board examination centres, and had nothing to do with warrant issued by Jamshedpur court against him for alleged anti-Bihari statements.