Denies his party had hand in the killing

Mumbai: Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray on Thursday apologised to the family of the man who died in stone-pelting during violent protests in Nasik against the arrest of the political leader on Wednesday.

“With folded hands, I apologise to the family members of the Hindustan Aeronautical Limited employee who was killed,” Mr. Thackeray said.

He, however, denied his party had any hand in the killing and said anti-social elements were responsible for his death.

He said “my partymen were in no way responsible for causing the death of the HAL employee who was killed in stone-pelting in Nashik. His death must have been caused by anti-social elements trying to take advantage of the situation”.

Probe sought

The Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) employee Ambadas Haribhau Dharrao was killed when he was hit by a stone pelted by one of the protesters in Nasik after Mr. Thackeray was arrested in Mumbai.

“While I am extremely pained by the death of Dharrao and I offer my condolences to his family, I would like to say that MNS cannot cause any hurt to anyone especially Maharashtrians. I demand that police conduct a detailed inquiry into his death and take stern action against those responsible for his death,” Mr. Thackeray said.

He said while the violence that erupted in parts of Maharashtra was unfortunate, it was the result of “spontaneous reaction” of the people.

Alleges pressure

Mr. Thackeray said his arrest was the fallout of Maharashtra government “caving in” to the pressures of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar lobbies.

“Though I did not break any law while launching an agitation for Maharashtra and Marathi-speaking people, the State government arrested me only because of pressure from U.P. and Bihar political lobby,” said Mr. Thackeray. — PTI

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