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Terrorism & Security

Mumbai tense following arrest of right-wing leader

The detention of Raj Thackeray, an anti-immigrant activist, threatens to stoke communal tensions against workers from northern states in India's financial hub.

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Following Thackeray's arrest, parts of Mumbai came to a standstill as MNS supporters torched public transport facilities and forced people to return home from work, reports the Hindustan Times.

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Many shops and commercial establishments, especially those run or managed by non-Maharashtrians, chose not to open at all to avoid trouble....
While in some areas, buses, taxis and autorickshaws were set on fire, in others areas public transport just stayed off the roads causing great inconvenience to people....
The office of the state Congress spokesperson Sanjay Nirupam was also vandalised.

The Times of India reports that more than 150 MNS activists were also detained outside the Bandra Metropolitan Magistrate Court in Mumbai, where they had gathered to protest Thackeray's arrest.

According to ZeeNews, sporadic incidents of violence were also reported from across the state of Maharashtra.
MNS activists burnt a toll booth in Mulund while two buses were damaged in Bhiwandi. Violence was also reported from Nasik, Thane, Virle, Parle, Juhu, Jogeshwari and Pune.
According to reports, about 350 taxis have also been damaged in the violence that followed shortly after [Thackeray] was arrested.

In a text message to various media professionals, the MNS described Thackeray's arrest as a "shame," reports the Indian Express, an Indian daily.

"It is a shame on our government who do not utter anything favouring Marathi people... They are not prompt and keen enough for Maharashtrians," MNS said in a SMS sent to the media.

Meanwhile, in northern India, news of Thackeray's arrest has prompted celebrations. In the northern state of Bihar, for example, people distributed sweets and lit firecrackers in a public show against the MNS leader's anti-immigrant actions, reports The Times of India.

On Monday, the Lok Sabha, India's parliament, witnessed an outcry against Sunday's attacks by MNS activists, reports The Hindu, a leading Indian daily.

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