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Raj Thackeray booked for his hate speech

March 22, 2009 21:52 IST
After Varun Gandhi, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray was on Sunday in trouble for his hate speech with the police booking him on charges of violating the model code of conduct and promoting enmity between groups, a day after he revived his anti-north Indian campaign at a poll rally in Nashik.

A case was registered against Raj at the Sarkarwada police station after the districit collector asked the police to probe whether the MNS leader's speech had violated the model code of conduct, police inspector Praveen Kulkarni told PTI.

Raj, who led a violent anti-north India campaign last year and was arrested and released on bail, was on Sunday charged under Indian Penal Code's Section 153 (A)(promoting enimity between differnt groups on ground of religion, race, place of birth, language etc) and Section 188 (disobedience of order promulgated by a public servant).

Raj has also been charged under Section 125 of the Representtaive of People Act (any person who in connection with election promotes enimity between different classes on grounds of religion, race, caste community etc), Kulkarni said.

Launching the party's election campaign on Saturday, Raj Thackeray had accused people and leaders hailing from the region of having "no affection" for Maharashtra and urged voters to elect his party candidates to uphold the dignity of 'Marathi manoos'.

Raj lashed out at authorities for sending him a notice to exercise restraint in his comments ahead of Saturday's rally and poured scorn at north Indians.

Taking note of Raj's comments, Nashik collector P Vesralu had asked police commissioner to probe whether his comments amount to the model code of conduct violation.

Claiming that Bahuja Samaj Party chief Mayawati had put up hoardings in Mumbai saying 'UP hamari, ab Maharashtra ki bari' (UP is ours and now it is the turn of Maharashtra), 41-year-old Raj had said, "They come from outside and dare to put up such hoardings but our police does nothing to stop them."

"If I speak for the Marathi manoos (people), I am slapped with a notice," the MNS chief, whose party announced it will contest from nine seats in the state, said addressing the election rally.

Reeling out statistics, Raj claimed that Nashik was facing an influx of north-Indians. "They are earning here and sending the money to their native place....I am not against them but they should have some affection for Maharashtra."

Raj claimed that he never spoke about south Indians and Gujaratis settled in the state as they "had affection for the state, but the north Indians don't have it".

"Besides all the six seats in Mumbai, MNS would also field its candidates from Nashik, Thane, and Pune LS seats," Raj said.

"Elect MNS candidates for upholding the dignity of Marathi manoos," the MNS leader said adding he will keep fighting on the issue.

He also criticised MPs from the state for "keeping mum" when he raised the 'sons-of-the-soil' issue.

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