Mumbai: A large number of police personnel will be deployed along the route of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena's morcha on Sunday in Mumbai, an official said on Saturday.
The Raj Thackeray-led party has organised the march demanding eviction of illegal (Muslim) immigrants from Pakistan and Bangladesh staying in India. Thousands of MNS activists are expected to participate in the 'Mahamorcha', set to begin around 12 noon from Hindu Gymkhana along Marine Drive to the Azad Maidan in south Mumbai. Thackeray is scheduled to address the gathering at the Maidan.
"Apart from local police, personnel of the State Reserve Police Force (DRPF), Riot Control Police, Quick Response Teams (QRTs), Bomb Detection and Disposal Squads (BDDS), and additional 600 policemen will be deployed on the morcha route," the Mumbai Police spokesperson said. He also said that police personnel in civvies will mingle with the crowd to keep an eye on anti-social elements.
"Besides, CCTVs and drones will be used for monitoring the crowd," he said. Some roads will remain closed for vehicular movement while traffic on other roads will be diverted on Sunday in view of the march, another official said. In the moves viewed as his party's endeavour to jump onto the Hindutva bandwagon, the MNS chief had last month launched a new saffron flag bearing the royal seal of Chhatrapati Shivaji.
According to political observers, the MNS, which was relegated to the margins in Maharashtra politics after successive electoral drubbings in the last ten years, is trying to fill the Hindutva vacuum believed to have been created after the Shiv Sena joined hands with the NCP and Congress to form a government in November last year. In his recent interview to party mouthpiece Saamana, Shiv Sena president and Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had denied that his party had abandoned the agenda of Hindutva.