Mumbai: The Mumbai police on Monday filed a case against Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray and president of the Samajwadi Party's Maharashtra unit, Abu Asim Azmi, on charges of dividing people on ethnic lines and inciting riots.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Datta Karale said that while a case had been lodged against Thackeray in the Vikhroli police station, the Shivaji Park police station had booked Azmi.
"The cases against the two leaders pertain to causing enmity between ethnic groups which resulted in rioting and assaults on several people in the state over the past 10 days," Karale said.
Thackeray had held a public meeting in Vikhroli on February 2, during which he hurled invectives against non-Marathi speaking people in Mumbai, with specific reference to north Indians.
Meanwhile, the latest issue of The Week newsmagazine, with the cover story titled "Mumbai's Hitler" and a photomontage on the cover depicting Thackeray as the dictator, has angered MNS activists in Pune and Mumbai.
MNS activists last afternoon made a bonfire of the magazine's copies at the Appa Balwant Chowk, the hub of periodical distributors in the heart of Pune. Their colleagues in Mumbai prevented the unloading of the weekly's copies at its main distribution depot.
The cover story of the issue that hit the stands on Saturday is about last week's violence in Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra after Thackeray repeatedly ridiculed north Indians settled in the city.
Four people claiming to be MNS activists forcibly entered the magazine's Worli marketing office and threatened the staff with dire consequences, said a senior employee of the magazine.
Following this, the police deployed security at the editorial and marketing offices of the magazine as well as the daily Malayala Manorama, published by the Kerala-based Malayala Manorama Group, Deputy Commissioner of Police Brijesh Singh said.