Sena chief: We will hit back if Sikhs repeat act
MUMBAI: Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray
on Sunday warned Sikhs in Mumbai against indulging in further
Thackeray was reacting to the violence that occurred in
Mumbai on Friday and Saturday after a Sikh protester was gunned down allegedly
by a bodyguard of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.
a strongly-worded statement frontpaged by party organ,
, Thackeray said it was the Sena
which had protected Sikhs in Mumbai after the assassination of Indira
Thackeray noted that a large number of Sikhs were seen
roaming around the streets of Mulund brandishing swords and attacking innocent
people, including women. Train commuters were targeted for no fault of theirs,
he said, adding that several women went to the Shiv Sena
in Mulund and complained to
local leader Prabhakar Shinde about the violence.
complaints from Shinde, the police failed to take action, he added. Thackeray
said the Sikhs should ask their elders about the Delhi riots in case they had
forgotten about them. He further pointed out that if the anti-Sikhs riots did
not spread to Mumbai in 1984, it was largely because of the Shiv Sena.
He said the then President, Giani Zail Singh, had thanked him for
protecting members of his community in Mumbai while those in Delhi had
Sources in the Sena said party activists would not remain
mute spectators if the Sikhs resorted to violence in future.
open display of swords, assaults on innocent men and women, forced closure of
shops and vandalising of railway property have angered Thackeray and his son
Uddhav. We will hit back if the Sikhs repeat their acts. Nobody is justifying
the opening of fire by the Dera bodyguard, but why should innocent people and
public property in Maharashtra be targeted?" a senior Sena leader