Cops force shift of Republican Party rally

With the Mumbai police firmly refusing permission to the Republican Party of India (Democratic) to hold a rally at Shivaji Park with Samajwadi Party leaders Amar Singh and Abu Asim Azmi among the invitees, there was heavy police presence in the Dadar and Shivaji Park areas on Sunday evening to prevent any untoward incident. The police had refused to permit the rally citing recent disruptions to law and order in the city. The rally later shifted to the Ambedkar College grounds in Wadala, where, according to the RAK Marg Police, it concluded peacefully.

T M Kamble, a former MLC who heads the Republican Party of India (Democratic), one of the numerous RPI factions, had organised the rally with the Samajwadi Party.

He said after the police banned his rally from being held at the Shivaji Park grounds on Sunday, he had taken a 'darshan' of Babasaheb Ambedkar's memorial at Chaityabhoomi in Dadar and then held the public meeting at Wadala's Ambedkar College.He claimed that 25,000 of his supporters attended the rally and added that the police had clamped down on many and blocked people coming from Pune and Nashik. He further claimed that his supporters were lathi-charged at Chaityabhoomi, apart from detaining activists.

He alleged that the state government was uneasy with the RPI and the Samajwadi Party coming together for the elections, as it could "change the political equations". However, no prominent SP leader was present at the rally at Wadala.

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