Raj Thackeray Questioning: Section 144 imposed outside ED office, senior MNS leaders detained

Raj Thackeray Questioning: Section 144 imposed outside ED office, senior MNS leaders detained
Several MNS leaders have been detained and extra forces have been deployed near ED office and areas around Dadar & Shivaji Park to prevent any untoward incident

Mumbai Police on Thursday detained several senior MNS leaders and imposed section 144 of CrPC (banning unlawful assembly) outside the Enforcement Directorate (ED) office in south Mumbai, where Raj Thackeray is set to appear today.

The move was taken in anticipation of a possible law and order situation.

Although Thackeray had appealed his party workers not to throng outside the ED office, officials said they did not want to take any chances.

Thackeray is expected to reach the ED office in Ballard Estate around 11 am to respond to the summons served on August 18. The MNS chief was called for questioning in connection with the IL&FS money laundering probe.

Meanwhile, MNS leader Sandeep Deshpande and a few others were picked up from Dadar and taken to the nearby Shivaji Park Police Station.

Deshpande, who is also the party’s spokesperson, was seen wearing a t-shirt bearing the words “EDiot Hitler”, a likely jibe at the BJP and probing agency. The senior leader protested the detention, calling it a “high-handed action” by the police.

Raj Thackeray Questioning: Section 144 imposed outside ED office, senior MNS leaders detained 1
MNS leader Sandeep Deshpande and a few others were picked up from Dadar and taken to the nearby Shivaji Park Police Station (Picture: ANI)

“We have imposed Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code under the jurisdiction of Mata Ramabai Ambedkar Marg Police Station, where the ED office is located,” the official said.

Section 144 prohibits an assembly of more than four persons in an area where there is likelihood of breach of peace and disturbance of public tranquility.

Thackeray has appealed the party workers not to protest over the issue, but there are possibilities of gathering of supporters outside the ED office.

Considering the crowd expected to be present outside the ED office before the MNS chief reaches there, heavy police force has been deployed outside the agency office.

“The area outside the ED office has been covered with barricades from three sides of the building and there is just one way to enter or exit,” the official said, adding that extra forces have also been deployed near Dadar and Shivaji Park, considered MNS strongholds.

Earlier on Wednesday, Mumbai police served notices to MNS functionaries and several party workers under section 149 of CrPC, which pertains to prevention of cognisable offences.

The ED is probing alleged irregularities relating to loans and equity investment by IL&FS in Kohinoor CTNL Infrastructure Company, which is developing Kohinoor Square tower in Dadar.

Former Maharashtra chief minister and senior Shiv Sena leader Manohar Joshi’s son Unmesh Joshi was also summoned by the ED in this case.

Meanwhile, no untoward incident has been reported in Mumbai as of publishing this report.

Related: Nothing will come out of it: Uddhav Thackeray on ED notice to cousin Raj

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