Maha crisis: Section 144 imposed in Mumbai until July 10

This was in response to a number of violent incidents in which Shiv Sena members attacked the offices of some rebel party MLAs.

The Mumbai police on Saturday enforced Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code banning unlawful assembly in the city and increased security at the homes and offices of all ministers, elected officials, and party leaders as the state was thrown into a political crisis following a rebellion in the Shiv Sena.

The prohibitory orders issued by the city police ahead of the Rajya Sabha elections will continue to remain in place till July 10.

The police announced on Saturday that gatherings of more than five people will not be permitted anywhere on the streets, with the exception of weddings, funerals, movie theatres, and other social gatherings outside courts, businesses, and educational institutions.

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This was in response to a number of violent incidents in which Shiv Sena members attacked the offices of some rebel party MLAs. Furthermore, no divisive banners or posters would be permitted to be shown because they can arouse emotions and cause law and order problems in Mumbai.

According to a press release from the Mumbai Police on Saturday, Police Commissioner Sanjay Pandey met with senior police officers on Friday and asked for an increase in security.

There have been reports of Shiv Sainiks allegedly ransacking the offices of rebel legislators. Shiv Sena workers ransacked the office of rebel party MLA Tanaji Sawant in Pune on Saturday. Sawant is one of the rebel Shiv Sena MLAs of the Eknath Shinde faction and is currently camping in Guwahati, Assam.

Dilip More, a local Shiv Sena leader, and 19 of his Sena workers from Kurla (East) were taken into custody by the Nehru Nagar police on Friday after they vandalised a sign outside the party office of rebel MLA Mangesh Kudalkar.

“Our party workers vandalised Tanaji Sawant’s office. All traitors and rebel MLAs who have troubled our chief Uddhav Thackeray will face this type of action. Their office will also be attacked. No one will be spared,” said Sanjay More, Shiv Sena Pune city head.

Rebel MLA faction leaders also took to the streets alleging that the NCP is destroying Shiv Sena and that Uddhav Thackeray should disassociate with the MVA alliance.

Following this, Pune Police issued an alert and directed all police stations to ensure security at offices related to Shiv Sena leaders in the city. Prohibitory orders have also been issued in Thane.

On the other hand, the Maharashtra Congress on Saturday ruled out the possibility of President’s Rule in the state currently in the grip of a major political crisis that has shaken the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi government.

“There is no reason presently to impose President’s Rule in the state. The MVA experiment is going to be a success,” said Congress Legislative Party Leader and Minister Balasaheb Thorat after a meeting of the state party’s top leadership.

He added that a legal team from New Delhi – which had finalised the formation of the MVA alliance 30 months ago – is keeping close tabs on the political situation unfolding here and is prepared to counter it as needed.

With agency inputs.

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