Mumbai: Fearing a law and order situation amid the political turmoil in Maharashtra, the Thane district collector’s office Saturday issued prohibitory orders for Thane rural area.
A stronghold of rebel leader Eknath Shinde, who is still camping in Guwahati along with a majority of the Shiv Sena’s MLAs, Thane — located near Mumbai — will remain under prohibitory orders till 30 June.
According to the district magistrate’s order — accessed by ThePrint — carrying sticks, arms, burning posters, effigies, and use of any kind of destructive weapon are prohibited. Gatherings of five or more people are also not allowed.
Raising slogans, singing songs, playing music, or giving speeches and sermons that would “disturb the peace and harmony” of the area is also prohibited, the order further states.
Government sources told ThePrint that these orders have been issued as a precaution. In the last couple of days, Shiv Sainiks have held several protests in support of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray across the state including Mumbai. They reportedly also vandalised offices of two rebel MLAs. One Shiv Sainik even blackened a hoarding carrying a rebel MLA’s picture, outside a Shiv Sena shakha in Mahim.
Later in the day, the Mumbai Police also imposed Section 144 of the CrPC — which prohibits assembly of four or more people — in Mumbai city.
Uddhav holding meetings with party cadre
Meanwhile, Uddhav Thackeray has been holding talks with his party workers and district presidents. On Friday, he held two meetings with his corporators and shakha pramukhs in an apparent bid to keep his flock together.
Many Shiv Sainiks gathered outside the CM’s residence Matoshree Friday.
Uddhav had Friday challenged rebel leader Eknath Shinde and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to try to win over the Shiv Sena cadre and those who vote for the party, and also accused the BJP of trying to finish off the Sena. Furthermore, he dared the rebels to win elections without using the Thackeray and Shiv Sena name.
“We gave these rebels tickets to contest assembly elections despite many of you being aspirants for the same. These people are disgruntled after getting elected owing to your hard work, and you are standing by the party in this crucial time. I can’t thank you enough,” he told party workers, according to sources.
The Shiv Sena has been “betrayed by its own people”, he claimed.
“I had told Eknath Shinde to look into complaints regarding alliance partners. He told me that legislators were pressurising him that the Sena should join hands with the BJP. I told him to bring these MLAs to me to discuss this. The BJP treated us badly, didn’t honour promises. Many of the rebels have cases filed against them. So if they go with BJP, they will become clean, if they stay with us, they will go to jail. Is this a sign of friendship?” he is believed to have told party workers.
As a strategy, the Shiv Sena has sent names of 16 rebel MLAs to the deputy Speaker of the state assembly for their disqualification. Sena MP Arvind Sawant told mediapersons Friday night that the deputy Speaker will be sending notices to the rebel MLAs.
This report has been updated with the information that Section 144 of the CrPC has been imposed in Mumbai city.
(Edited by Gitanjali Das)