Raj Thackeray to take out a march on Marine Drive, Rally at Azad Maidan today.
MUMBAI: As pressure mounts on Maharashtra home minister RR Patil over his alleged inability to handle violence at Azad Maidan last week, Maharashtra Navanirman Sena (MNS) Chief Raj Thackeray has called for a rally from Girgaum Chowpaty to Azad Maidan on Tuesday afternoon to demand the home minister and police commissioner’s resignation over the same issue. This rally is expected to cause major traffic chaos in South Mumbai on Tuesday.
Speaking at his residence Raj Thackeray said “I have asked my supporters to take out a rally from Girgaum Chowpaty to Azad Maidan on Tuesday. The rally will start at 12.00 noon. Mumbai police have denied the permission for this rally and sent notices to all leaders of MNS saying they will be held responsible if there is any violence and they will face arrest. We don’t intend to cause any trouble but if police try to block us, then we will not be responsible for the consequences.”
An officer from Mumbai Police said that state intelligence reports suggest that about 40,000 people may gather at Girgaum Chowpaty on Tuesday to participate in the rally. South bound peak hour traffic is likely to get badly affected by this rally. The protestors plan to walk on marine drive upto princess street flyover and then take a left turn and go towards Azad maidan via Metro cinema junction.
Raj Thackeray had announced on last Friday that he will organize a large rally on Tuesday claiming that police had failed to control the mob who indulged in arson near Chattrapati Shivaji Terminus despite having all the information about the protest in advance. “This rally is being organized to demand the resignation of those who were responsible for the chaos”, Raj added.
Raj said “The police seem to be losing morale. Their vehicles have been torched, weapons taken away and the commissioner was seen shouting at his deputies to let the rioters go free instead of catching them. This is a failure of leadership so we demand that both RR Patil and the Commissioner should resign”.
Meanwhile pressure is mounting on State home minister R R Patil over the violence that took place last week in Mumbai. Shiv Sena too organized a rally on Monday to protest against the desecration of Martyrs memorial at Fort on Monday. Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray lashed out against R.R.Patil in party mouthpiece Saamana alleging that “the home minister has been totally ineffective.” The BJP too has stepped up pressure against the home minister. BJP MP Gopinath Munde ridiculed the state home minister at a public meeting on Monday saying “The home minister was not even capable of working as a constable in the police force.”
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