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Police lathicharge protesting Azmi supporters in Mumbai

November 09, 2009 21:49 IST

The Mumbai police on Monday resorted to lathicharge to disperse agitating supporters of Member of Legislative Assembly Abu Azmi in suburban Govandi, protesting the assault on the Samajwadi Party leader in Maharashtra assembly by members of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena.

People gathered at Shivaji Nagar in Govandi and pelted stones shouting slogans in support of Azmi, Deputy Police Commissioner Dilip Sawant said.

"We lathicharged Azmi's supporters to control the situation. Ten people were detained," he said.

Four public transport buses and a few auto rickshaws were damaged in the incident, he added. No one was injured in the incidents, the police said.

Samajwadi Party supporters also held protests in suburban Oshiwara and Mumbra, a minority-dominated area on Mumbai's outskirts, the police said.

Suburban train services on harbour line of central railway were disrupted for some time after people gathered on tracks at Govandi railway station, the police said.

The assault on Samajwadi Party MLA Abu Asim Azmi by MNS legislators inside Maharashtra assembly and the subsequent suspension on Monday triggered violent protests in several parts of the state.

Fearing trouble, shop owners downed their shutters.

MNS activists burnt an effigy of Azmi, whose oath- taking in Hindi infuriated the MLAs of the Raj Thackeray-led party, at Kalwa in Thane city.

Stray incidents of stone pelting by MNS activists at buses were reported from Varje area in Pune, the police said.

Varje comes under Khadakwasla Assembly constituency, represented by Ramesh Wanjle, one of the four MLAs of the Raj Thackeray-led party suspended for ruckus in the House.

In Nashik, MNS activists burnt an effigy of Azmi to protest the suspension of party legislators, including Vasant Gite, who represents Nashik-Central.

Following the incident, police have stepped up security at important locations in the north Maharashtra city, one of the strongholds of the MNS.

In Malegaon, the minority-dominated town in Nashik district,, SP activists, headed by its city President Rizwan Batterywala, made an unsuccessful attempt to burn an effigy of Thackeray.

A state road transport corporation bus was stoned in Malegaon allegedly by SP activists.

Meanwhile, Azmi has appealed to his party workers to maintain peace and calm.
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