It was a matter of few hours —Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray was arrested, taken to the Mazgaon court, and released on bail on Saturday.
After a gap of few days, MNS activists again hit the roads to support their leader after the Shivaji Park police arrested him in connection with the non-bailable warrant issued by the metroplitan magistrate in Jamshedpur, Jharkhand, on September 30.
The warrant was based on a complaint filed by Jamshedpur-based advocate Hamid Raza Khan who sought action against Thackeray for making provocative speeches against north Indians.
Interestingly, Thackeray sought bail on the ground of threat perception. “There is a security threat to him. Besides, the police has also withdrawn his security,” his lawyer Ashok Mundargi said.
As soon as Thackeray’s convoy entered the Mazgaon court premises at 2.30 pm, his supporters greeted him. After his arrest, Thackeray was produced before the additional chief metropolitan magistrate of Mazgaon court.
The public prosecutor sought his remand saying they had received a non-bailable warrant from the Jamshedpur court, but did not produce any document or material to support the claim.
Refusing to grant the remand, the magistrate observed: “It seems that there is no document to satisfy section 78 (2) of the Criminal Procedure Code which mandates production of substance or information against the person to be arrested with documents.”
Following the bail order, Thackeray can pursue the case either at the Jamshedpur court or the Ranchi High Court.
MNS spokesperson Nitin Sardesai called the arrest a legal harassment. “We are on firm legal grounds and we are getting bail.”
He said charges on the same incident were imposed against Thackeray even when he was in jail. “Is it justified to arrest a leader if the cadres indulge in any agitation? It seems that this procedure is applicable only for MNS.”
(With inputs from Naresh Kamath)