Raj Thackeray, who set out with his convoy to agitate at Vashi against toll, was halted at Somaiya ground, Chunabhatti and taken to the RCF police station in Chembur. The MNS chief was detained for two hours and later released. Here's a look at the timeline


08:45 am

MNS supporters begin gathering at Raj Thackeray’s residence Krishnakunj. Media throng the area amid police bandobast and a rumbling agitation starts

10:30 am

Thackeray, along with MLAs Bala Nandgaonkar and Nitin Sardesai, leaves his residence for the Vashi toll naka to kick off the anti-toll protest

10:45 am

Their convoy is detained near Somaiya ground, Chunabhatti, by a police team led by Additional CP Praveen Salunkhe; following a discussion with the cops, Thackeray sits in the police van

11:14 am

He is brought to nearby Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilisers (RCF) police station where, inside the senior inspector’s cabin, he is offered tea and biscuits. Meanwhile, news of his detention spreads and MNS workers protest at police station

12:45 pm

Thackeray is released from detention

12:50 pm
Speaks with media; says CM Prithiviraj Chavan called him up and set up a meeting for today to discuss the issue

01:25 pm

Is back home at Krishnakunj

Thackeray, who had been given notices under CrPC section 149, was booked under the Bombay Police Act sections 68 (person bound to conform to reasonable police orders) and 69 (power of police to restrain).

Police strategy to avoid backlash: isolate and arrest
Senior police officers said it was a well-thought-out strategy to stop Raj Thackeray near Somaiya ground in Chunabhatti, putting distance between him and hundreds of his supporters gathered outside his Shivaji Park home, thus precluding any possible belligerence from the anti-toll protesters.

Police barricade the road near Somaiya ground to intercept Raj Thackeray’s convoy
Police barricade the road near Somaiya ground to intercept Raj Thackeray’s convoy

“If we had stopped him at his house, MNS workers could have gone violent, possibly forcing the police to lathi-charge the mob. And riot control action in a residential area would have created more problems. So, senior city police officers decided to follow Thackeray and stop him on the road, as one usually does not encounter a crowd on roads,” said a police officer.

Police notices under Section 149 of the CrPC sent to several MNS workers and leaders kept protesters from violating the law. The warning in the notice was clear: if any party member indulged in violence, he/she would be booked under the law. The cops had also detained a few workers on Tuesday night.

Pics/Rane Ashish, Suresh KK, Shadab Khan