Thousands march in Mumbai to protest violence

Thousands of MNS supporters defied police Tuesday to take to the streets here to denounce the Aug 11 violence in the city that had left two people dead and scores injured.

Mumbai : Police men keep a vigil during MNS supporters' march from Girgaum Chowpatty to Azad Maidan in Mumbai on Tuesday, to protest the violence that took place in the Maidan on August 11. PTI Photo by Shirish Shete

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) leader Raj Thackeray was set to address a packed Azad Maidan in the heart of Mumbai after a five-kilometre march wound its way from Girgaum Chowpatty, witnesses said.

Police had earlier refused permission to MNS to hold the march but gave the green signal for the rally. But MNS supporters hit the streets nevertheless.

An adamant Thackeray said Monday he would take out the procession, with or without police clearance.

Hundreds of security personnel were deployed all along the march route and at the ground.

The marchers raised slogans demanding the resignation of Maharashtra Home Minister R.R. Patil and Mumbai Police Commissioner Arup Patnaik for their failure to control the Aug 11 Muslim protest at Azad Maidan.

Two people were killed and many injured that day after a protest by Muslim groups to condemn the alleged attacks on Muslims in Myanmar as well as Assam turned violent.

Tuesday's show of strength crippled parts of Mumbai as police set up road blocks, randomly checked vehicles and diverted traffic.

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