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Maharashtra DGP Rajnish Seth met state Home Minister Dilip Walse Patil earlier on Tuesday and the two, along with senior police officials, reviewed the law-and-order situation ahead of the MNS chief’s deadline.

The entire force of the Maharashtra police is “alert and ready” to tackle any deterioration of the law and order situation, the top police officer in the state told NDTV today. Maharashtra DGP Rajnish Seth also added that Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) president Raj Thackeray’s speech – where he reiterated his warning for the removal of loudspeakers atop mosques – is being “looked into” and “legal action will be taken if needed”.

“The police are prepared for any law and order situation. Strict action will be taken against those who disturb law and order,” Mr Seth said.

The police chief’s response came after the MNS chief reiterated his “May 3 deadline” warning for the removal of loudspeakers, which he termed a nuisance, atop mosques.

Insisting that the state police was “alert and on ready mode”, Mr Seth said, “Maharashtra police are capable of handling any kind of law-and-order situation. All police leaves have been cancelled. 87 companies of State Reserve Police Force (SRPF) and 30,000 home guards have been deployed across the state”.

“The police are responsible for maintaining law and order and no one should take the law into their hands,” he said, warning strict action against those who disturb the law and order.

“I appeal to everyone to maintain peace,” he added.

Raj Thackeray reiterated his May 3 deadline for the removal of loudspeakers atop mosques at a rally in Aurangabad, warning that he “won’t be responsible for what all happens after that”.

“I won’t be responsible for what all happens after the May 3 deadline to remove the loudspeakers from the mosques,” the MNS chief said at a public rally in Aurangabad.

From May 4, the MNS chief said, all Hindus should play Hanuman Chalisa at double the volume of loudspeakers atop the mosques.

“If they (Muslims) don’t understand nicely, we will show them the power of Maharashtra,” he said.

Loudspeaker noise is not a religious issue but a social one, he said. “All loudspeakers (atop mosques) are illegal. Is it a concert that so many loudspeakers are being used?” he said.

Mr Thackeray said if the Uttar Pradesh government could remove the loudspeakers, what was stopping the Maharashtra government, led by his estranged cousin Uddhav Thackeray, from doing so.

The MNS chief’s speech is being “looked into” and “legal action will be taken if needed,” the police officer said.

“Aurangabad CP is looking into the speech. He will take whatever legal action that is needed,” Seth told reporters, two days after Thackeray, at a rally in Aurangabad, called for “silencing” loudspeakers from the mosques from May 4.

Mr Seth met state Home Minister Dilip Walse Patil earlier on Tuesday and the two, along with senior police officials, reviewed the law-and-order situation ahead of the MNS chief’s deadline.

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