In connection with the May 1 Aurangabad demonstration, a petition has been filed in the Bombay High Court asking the Maharashtra government and Mumbai police to initiate an FIR against Maharashtra Navnirman Sena MNS head Raj Thackeray on charges of sedition and creating annoyance.
Hemant Patil, a Pune-based activist, submitted the petition, which is expected to be called for an urgent hearing today. In his plea, Patil, who also runs an NGO, claims that Thackeray held a rally in Aurangabad on May 1 at which he spoke out against NCP chairman Sharad Pawar, causing tension among party workers and disrupting the state’s calm. He requested the filing of a sedition charge against the MNS chief.
Notably, Thackeray accused Pawar of “splitting Maharashtra in caste politics” during his rally on May 1 and also claimed that Pawar is an atheist.
After watching the viral videos of the MNS chief’s rally, the Aurangabad police launched aanFIR against him.
Meanwhile, Raj Thackeray has reaffirmed his demand that mosques remove loudspeakers by May 3, failing which they will begin playing Hanuman Chalisa at twice the level of Azaan on May 4.
While speaking to a crowd at Aurangabad’s Sanskrutik Mandal Maidan, Thackeray said, “Maharashtra’s first day is today (Maharashtra Day). From now until the fourth day, I shall not listen. Wherever there is a loudspeaker, we shall also chant Hanuman Chalisa at double volume in front of it.”
On Tuesday, Mumbai Police seized loudspeakers from the MNS headquarters and detained Mahendra Bhanushali, the party’s Chandivali unit chief, and others.
On April 12, the MNS chief issued an ultimatum to the Maharashtra government, demanding that loudspeakers be removed from mosques by May 3, failing which, he claimed, MNS activists will play Hanuman Chalisa on loudspeakers.