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HindustanTimes Sun,20 Apr 2014

Mumbai: Raj blames migrants for rising crime rate

Megha Pol, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, August 31, 2013
First Published: 01:09 IST(31/8/2013) | Last Updated: 01:12 IST(31/8/2013)

With just a few months to go before the general elections, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray once again raked up the issue of ‘outsiders’, blaming them for the deteriorating crime situation in Mumbai and Thane. Unlike previous times, Thackeray did not target any particular state for migration but insisted crime was on the rise in Maharashtra because of migrants.

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Speaking about the Mumbai gang-rape he said it was time political parties came together to find a solution. “I have full faith in the police. If they are given leeway they will do their work efficiently. The media takes up the issue only when there is an incident in Mumbai or Delhi not when there is a rape in Kolhapur or Satara. Rape is rape no matter where it happens.”

Speaking at Thane’s Gadkari Rangayatan while in the city to inaugurate a party office, Thackeray’s tirade hinted at his poll strategy. Targeting Thane, Thackeray said the highest number of migrants came to Thane district. “For years I have being speaking about criminals migrating to our state. Thane is a huge district and is the popular choice for these migrants. We will never know if the auto rickshaw we hire to take us home will drop us safely to our destination. It is time that we stay vigilant for our own safety,” he said.

Thackeray said, “I have no doubt that the rise in crime in the state is because of the influx of migrants to the city. I have been saying that from Day 1 and continue to maintain that.”

In the context of rising crime, Thackeray defended the police force and said it was impossible to control crime, given the skewed per capita police ratio.

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