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Raj Thackeray has been arrested on Wednesday on the charge of instigating people and fomenting trouble sparking violence by his angry supporters in Mumbai and a few towns in Maharashtra in which a HAL employee died when stones were pelted at a staff bus. Thackeray however walked free a couple of hours after the police moved in to arrest the leader of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena(MNS) from his Shivaji park residence at 4.15 PM amid tight security when a magistrate in Vikhroli granted him bail on a personal surety of Rs 15,000. Raj(39), who appeared calm, was driven in a normal police vehicle. The police action ending days of dithering by the state government came hours after nearly 2,000 preventive arrests, mainly of MNS activists, were made across the state with personnel from the Rapid Action Force(RAF) and central paramilitary forces keeping a tight vigil. Abu Asim Azmi of the Samajwadi party, who also faced similar charges like Raj, was also arrested from his Colaba home but granted bail by a Magistrate's Court in Bhoiwada after furnishing a bond of Rs 10,000. Mumbai was by and large calm barring stray incidents of stone pelting in which some buses were targeted after the arrest just before the peak hour. Shopkeepers downed their shutters at several places. In Pune and Nashik, several buses were stoned by MNS activists. In Nashik, the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited(HAL) Ambadas Haribhau Dharrao (55) was killed in stone-pelting allegedly by MNS activists near Adgaon, police said. The bus driver was injured and has been admitted to a hospital. Raj was slapped with an FIR by Mumbai police two days ago for promoting enmity among regional groups after his provocative statements against North Indians.
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