Mumbai: The Mumbai police Thursday imposed section 144 of CrPC (banning unlawful assembly) outside the Enforcement Directorate (ED) office in south Mumbai, where MNS chief Raj Thackeray will be questioned in connection with a money laundering probe.
The move was taken apprehending law and order problem, a police official said. “Raj Thackeray has appealed his party workers not to throng outside the ED office but we don’t want to take any chances,” the official said.
“We have imposed section 144 ofCriminal Procedure Code under the jurisdiction of Mata Ramabai Ambedkar Marg Police Station, where the ED office is located,” the official added.
It should be stated here that Section 144 prohibits assembly of more than four persons in an area where there is likelihood of breach of peace and disturbance of public tranquility.
Thackeray will appear at the ED office in Ballard Pier around 10.30 am for questioning in connection with the IL&FS probe, the official informed.
Meanwhile, MNS leader Sandeep Deshpande, wearing a tee-shirt with ‘EDiot Hitler’ emblazoned on it, was taken into custody by police Thursday morning.
Even though Raj Thackeray has appealed the party workers not to protest over the issue, there are possibilities of gathering of supporters outside the ED office.
“The area outside the ED office has been covered with barricades from three sides of the building and there is just one way to enter or exit,” stated the police official.
Police personnel have been deployed in Dadar area in central Mumbai and other places where MNS has stronghold, to maintain law and order.
Mumbai Police served Wednesday notices to MNS functionaries and several party workers under section 149 of CrPC as a precautionary measure, informed the official. Section 149 pertains to prevention of cognisable offences.
The ED is probing alleged irregularities relating to loans and equity investment worth over Rs 450 crore by IL&FS in Kohinoor CTNL Infrastructure Company, which is developing Kohinoor Square tower in the Dadar area here.
Former Maharashtra Chief Minister and senior Shiv Sena leader Manohar Joshi’s son Unmesh Joshi was also summoned by the ED in this case.