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Mumbai: A day after 'Pakistan Zindabad' slogans were allegedly raised during a Popular Front of India (PFI) protest in Pune, Shiv Sena leader and former Maharashtra minister Aaditya Thackeray attacked the state government and said there is a major law and order failure in Maharashtra.
"The government must come down swiftly and hard on those who indulged in pro-Pak slogans. The fact that someone dared to do so, and is yet roaming free, means this is a major law and order failure in Maharashtra," Thackeray told media persons. 'Pakistan Zindabad' slogans were heard outside the District Collector's office on Friday in Pune city where PFI cadres gathered against the recent ED-CBI-Police raids across 15 states.
Some protestors were detained by Pune police and a case registered of unlawful assembly against protestors. Police also arrested some protestors.
"Case registered under sections of rioting and for blocking the roads at Bund Garden police station. Probe underway pertaining to videos that went viral. Stringent action to be taken against culprits," said Deputy Commissioner of Police, Zone II, Pune Sagar Patil.
Earlier, Pune Police had said they will probe and verify the videos and action will be taken accordingly.
"We have received some videos, we will investigate and verify them completely and take action accordingly," the DCP had said.
Reacting to the sloganeering incident, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who is also the state Home Minister said stringent action will be taken. "We will take stringent action against any person raising Pakistan Zindabad slogans in Maharashtra," Fadnavis said.
Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Nitesh Rane took to Twitter and warned those raising such slogans. He also sought a ban on PFI.
Joint teams of the National Investigation Agency, Enforcement Directorate and police had conducted multiple raids across 15 states of the country against PFI on September 22 and arrested over 106 members.
The largest-ever crackdown that was conducted against the Popular Front of India (PFI) members spread across 15 states was code-named "Operation Octopus", sources said on Saturday.
The searches were conducted in connection with five cases registered by the NIA following "continued inputs and evidence" that the PFI leaders and cadres were involved in the funding of terrorism and terrorist activities, organising training camps for providing armed training and radicalising people to join banned organisations.
A large number of criminal cases have been registered in different states over the last few years against the PFI and its leaders and members for their involvement in many violent acts.
The PFI had on Friday called for a 12-hour shutdown in Kerala, which turned violent in parts of the state. Stone-pelting was witnessed at various places, including at the RSS office at Mattannur in Kannur. Two police officials were also injured in the incident in Kollam.
The Kerala High Court initiated a suo motu case against PFI leaders who called for a strike in the state against the arrest of its members by the NIA. (ANI)