Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray was arrested from Maharashtra's Ratnagiri town early on Tuesday, prompting large parts of this city to shut down as his supporters went on the rampage torching public transport and telling office goers to return home.
Many shops and commercial establishments, especially those run or managed by non-Maharashtrians, chose not to open at all to avoid trouble. Thackeray, whose MNS workers on Sunday attacked non Maharashtrians appearing for the railway board examination, was brought from Ratnagiri, about 250 km from here, to be produced at the Bandra court.
There was mayhem outside the court premises with large crowds milling around restively and camera crews waiting to capture the trouble.
While in some areas, buses, taxis and autorickshaws were set on fire, in others areas public transport just stayed off the roads causing great inconvenience to people. However, suburban trains on the Western and Central Railways and Harbour Line functioned as usual.
The office of the state Congress spokesperson Sanjay Nirupam was also vandalised.
As news about the arrest spread, there was violence in other parts of Maharashtra too.
Thackeray was arrested from a government guest house in Ratnagiri district at about 4 a.m. along with other party workers like Sanjay Ghadi and Pravin Darekar in connection with the beating up of some north Indian candidates at a railway recruitment examination centre in Chetana College, Bandra East, police said.
This is the second time in eight months that Thackeray has been arrested for his tirade against north Indians.