Sandeep Deshpande and Santosh Dhuri, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena leaders, were arrested on Wednesday under several sections of the Indian Penal Code, including assault to prevent a public worker from performing his duties.
The MNS commanders, as well as their driver, have gone missing. Deshpande and Dhuri have been charged under the Indian Penal Code’s Sections 353 (assault or criminal force to prevent a public officer from doing his duties), 279 (rash driving), and 336 (endangering life).
They were arrested after a police inspector filed a complaint at Shivaji Park Police Station, alleging that they sped away in their car when approached by cops, hurting a female cop in the process.
Santosh Salil, a suspect in the case, has been apprehended.
A total of 150 Maharashtra Navnirman Sena Party workers were arrested in Nashik district for causing “communal unrest.”
The arrests are part of the state police’s ‘preventive efforts’ to ensure law and order in the wake of MNS head Raj Thackeray’s call for the Hanuman Chalisa to be played on a loudspeaker outside mosques.
Raj Thackeray had earlier underlined his opposition to loudspeakers, saying that “Hanuman Chalisa will continue to be played outside mosques till the government acts and tackles the issue in accordance with the Supreme Court instructions on loudspeakers.”
On April 12, the MNS chief gave the Maharashtra government an ultimatum to remove loudspeakers from mosques by May 3, failing which, he warned, MNS workers will play Hanuman Chalisa on loudspeakers.
When Raj Thackeray encouraged people to play Hanuman Chalisa on loudspeakers in locations where loudspeakers are used for ‘Azaan,’ a lawsuit was filed against him on Tuesday.