Raj Thackeray seeks relaxation of gag order

Updated on Feb 22, 2008 01:41 AM IST

Opposing the arbitrary gag orders against him, MNS chief Raj Thackeray approaches the sessions court to lift the police ban on him, reports Mustafa Plumber.

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Hindustan Times | ByMustafa Plumber, Mumbai

Opposing the arbitrary gag orders against him, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray on Thursday approached the sessions court to lift the police ban on him. The gag orders were passed to keep him from holding rallies or making provocative speeches.

Thackeray, who was arrested by the Vikhroli police recently on charges of inciting violence against a group of people (north Indians), has argued that the gag order was illegal and that it should be quashed.

The Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) (Operations), Vijaysingh Jadhav had issued a gag order against Thackeray on February 11.

The order bars Thackeray from organising any demonstrations, rallies, dharnas, making any provocative statements in public, speaking to the press or causing any kind of obstruction, intimidation, threat or nuisance to any member of public while moving within city limits.

The order states that Thackeray would be gagged till February 25, or will remain in force till such activities are stopped or brought under control. In other words, the order would be valid till such time that the police finds it appropriate.

The order was upheld by a magistrate court while granting bail to Raj soon after his arrest observing that “Mr Thackeray, you are an educated person. Do ensure peace and tranquility in the city and I need not tell you anything more, and follow the order of the police.”

However, in his application Thackeray said that he wanted to propound the philosophy of his political outfit (MNS) for which he wanted to travel to various places across the state. Seeking a quash on the order, he said he wanted to reach out to his large following of youngsters in Mumbai.

Raj further said that the magistrate’s order upholding the restrictions imposed by the police was vague, affected the fundamental rights of the applicant and that he wanted the sessions court to set it aside.

The plea will come up for hearing before a court on Friday.

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