Mumbai police okay with MNS rally, mum on nod for protest march
Mumbai police today said they have granted permission to Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) to hold a public rally at Azad Maidan tomorrow but were silent on nod for a protest march ahead of the meet by the Raj Thackeray-led party which has vowed to go ahead with its plan.
"Permission has been granted for the rally at Azad Maidan and police machinery is in place at the venue," said Joint Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Rajneesh Seth while talking to media persons here.
However, when asked about permission for the MNS' protest march from Girgaum to Azad Maidan, a distance of about 5km, ahead of the public meet, he sidestepped the query, merely saying "police are prepared" to tackle any situation. Seth said they do not know how many people would come for the march against the August 11 violence here but added that adequate steps have been taken to maintain law and order.
The senior police officer said proper crowd management mechanism will be in place and citizens should not have any apprehensions. Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Vivek Phansalkar said traffic regulation will be activated on the Girgaum-Azad Maidan route in South Mumbai.
Meanwhile, MNS President Raj Thackeray said his party would go ahead with the protest march though the police have denied permission for the same. He said police have denied permission on grounds that the morcha would lead to traffic congestion and create law and order problem.
The march has been organised to denounce the rioting at Azad Maidan, where two persons were killed and 52 others, including 44 policemen and media persons, injured when a protest over Assam clashes turned violent.