Raj remanded to judicial custody till Nov 4

Written by Political Bureau | Mumbai, Oct 21 | Updated: Oct 23 2008, 04:55am hrs
In a high pitch drama, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray, who was arrested in the early hours on Tuesday at Ratnagiri in connection with the recent attacks by his partymen on north Indian candidates who had come to Mumbai to appear in the railway board examination, was granted bail by Bandra magistrates court.

Rajs Thackeray lawyers moved a bail application immediately after the magistrate remanded him to a 15-day judicial custody till November 4. The suburban metropolitan court granted him bail in the Chetna College attack incident in Kherwadi, Bandra. The court granted him bail on furnishing a bond of Rs 15,000 in case registered in the Kherwadi police station. Raj was arrested under sections 149, 506, 60 (B), 427, 352 and 153 (A) of the Indian Penal Code.

However, Raj wil have to spend Tuesday night in the police custody as he was handed over to the Thane police in a similar case. Raj will be presented before the Kalyan court on Wednesday afternoon.

MNS activists had attacked north Indian candidates in Kherwadi, Bandra on Sunday. Similar attacks took place in neighbouring Thane and Kalyan.

Tuesdays arrest and subsequent bail to Raj was reminicient of the similar drama that took place in July 2000 when Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray was arrested by the police and later was immediately released after the Bhoiwada court in north central Mumbai granted him bail.

Earlier, Rajs arrest had sparked violence in Maharashtra. Heavy stone pelting was witnessed outside Bandra court where he was produced. Hundreds of MNS supporters gathered and pelted stones at the police, who retaliated by with baton charge.

Meanwhile, many people decided to stay inside their homes; trains ran empty and the city looked fairly deserted. Despite heavy police deployment, MNS workers tried to block traffic in Navi Mumbai.

A large number of shops, hotels and other establishments preferred to close down their shutters to avoid untoward incident. Daily wage workers were badly hit due to an undeclared bandh in Mumbai and its suburbs.

It was a tought time for the Shiv Sena, who was striving to appear bold and take on the agitated MNS activists in several parts of Mumbai and other districts. In some cases, there were no takers for Shiv Sena as a large number of shopkeepers declined their support of keeping their shops open.