A Delhi court on Thursday asked the city police to lodge an FIR against Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray for allegedly describing migrants from Bihar as "infiltrators" in Mumbai. At a speech on August 31, Mr Thackeray had threatened to force them out of Maharashtra.
The court's decision was in response to a private complaint that said Mr Thackeray's speech was provocative and anti-national and violates the constitutional right for citizens to live in any part of the country.
The Delhi Police had earlier told the court that it was facing several legal hurdles in lodging the FIR against Mr Thackeray because his comments were not made in Delhi and newspapers who reported them are not printed within the capital. There was, therefore, an issue of jurisdiction.
The investigating officer, however, had said the police was ready and willing to abide by the court's direction on the issue.
Meanwhile, Mr Thackeray has been summoned by the same court today in connection with a separate case. However he is unlikely to appear and might seek exemption, say sources. This case dates back to 2008, when some people from Bihar had filed four complaints against him for his alleged hate speech against North Indians. The case was shifted to the Supreme Court after the MNS chief said it was unsafe for him to go to a Bihar court. The Supreme Court has asked Delhi's Tiz Hazari court to look into the matter.
Mr Thackeray's widely-criticized stand against migrant workers has been one of the cornerstones of his politics. He set up his own party in March, 2006 after a family feud with cousin Uddhav and uncle Bal Thackeray who together lead the Shiv Sena.
(With Inputs from PTI)