Mumbai, Jul 9: The city is slowly returning to normalcy after a day of violent protests.
The city witnessed violent scenes as Shiv Sainiks took to the streets protesting the desecration of a statue of Meenatai Thackeray, the late wife of Balasaheb Thackeray.
The statue of Meenatai, a Sena icon, is located in Shivaji Park in the Sena heartland.
The protests were particularly tense in Sena strongholds like Dadar and Thane. Protestors blocked roads and smashed and burned vehicles, forcing shops to shut down.
The situation has now been brought under control in areas like Andheri, Dadar, Malad and Kandivli that witnessed strong and at times violent protests.
Damage to property
It was not just Mumbai and Thane that witnessed protests but also other parts of Maharashtra.
In Nagpur several buses and private vehicles were damaged by Sena workers. A lathicharge was carried out on Sena workers at Golibar square.
In Nashik several state public transport buses were damaged by protestors. Local bus services were disrupted to many areas like Deolali and Nashik city. In Amravati effigies were burnt and shopkeepers were forced to down shutters.
Shops in Prabhat market were also damaged by stone pelting and a rally was held by local Sena workers calling for a bandh.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh called an emergency meeting with senior police and civic officials to assess the situation in the state.
He condemned the vandalising of the statue and urged Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray to ask Sainiks to withdraw from the streets.
Mumbai Police Commissioner A N Roy also held a meeting with Shiv Sena leaders and told them that unlawful protests will not be tolerated.
Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil reviewed the situation in Maharashtra and offered assistance including despatch of additional forces.
The situation was reviewed at a meeting called by Patil and attended by Home Secretary V K Duggal and other senior officials.
After the meeting, Special Secretary (Internal Security) spoke to the Maharashtra Chief Secretary and the Director General of Police.
"We reviewed the situation at the meeting and have offered all kinds of assistance to the state government including despatching extra forces, if necessary," said Duggal.
The Home Ministry was constantly in touch with the state government and the situation was reported to be in control.
(With PTI inputs)