Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray has landed in deep water after leading Tuesday's protest at Azad Maidan against August 11 violence in Mumbai.
Prominent political leaders and observers have criticised Thackeray's rally, alleging that the MNS chief was working on his Hindustav agenda, while trying to stir up indifferences between communities. A non-cognizable offence complaint was also filed against him for using unparliamentary language referring to Samjwadi Party leader Abu Asim Azmi during the protest.
Sayyed Zakir Chand, a member of SP, filed the complaint against Thackeray under section 504, which refers to the offence of Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace.
The MNS chief accused Azmi of provoking riots besides using foul language against him on Tuesday. Commenting on the Thackeray's remarks on him, Azmi said that "he attempted to spark a fight between Muslims and Dalits."
"Mr. Raj Thackeray was earlier against north Indians. Now he is moving towards the Hindutva agenda. He has grown up on the Shiv Sena agenda. He is showing his 'Modi face'," Azmi was quoted saying by The Hindu.
Thackeray is also pulled up for his alleged remarks against father of Indian Constitution Dr BR Ambedkar.
Kanishk Jayant, an advocate, has asked the police to file an FIR following his complaint against Thackery for alleged anti- Ambedkar remarks. The complainant has reportedly claimed that purpose of the rally was different but the MSN leader's comments on raising a memorial of Ambedkar on Indu Mills were defamatory in nature.
During the rally, Thackeray went head on with Dalit leaders for their "obsession" in raising an Ambedkar memorial. The advocate claimed that the MNS chief has breached the law under the Prevention of Atrocities Act, 1989.
Police officials are seeking expert assistance and cross checking tapes and videos of Thackeray's speech at Azad maiden, to find out if the rally contained anything unlawful that demands police attention.
Meanwhile, police are also seeking experts' opinions on initiating action against the MNS chief based on the complaints they have received.
Thackeray was denied permission for his proposed rally by police officials. However, it didn't stop the chief of the saffron party from going to the streets with a protest banner against the latest Mumbai violence.
Earlier this month, a mob gathered at Azad Maiden to protest the alleged anti-Muslim riots in Assam and Myanmar. The peaceful protest turned violent, with agitators assaulting the participants of the rally. Two people were killed and 55 others were injured. Most of those injured were police and media personnel.
The police, however, contained the situation at the earliest to prevent any further loss of lives or damage in property. Officials believed that the violence at Azad Maiden was not because of mass anger against the minority killings but was rather a pre-planned act.