Samajwadi Party demands arrest of Bal Thackeray and nephew

October 20th, 2008 - 9:16 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Oct 20 (IANS) President of the Samajwadi Party’s Maharashtra unit Abu Azmi Monday demanded the arrest of Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray and his nephew Raj for attacks on north Indians and a scathing editorial against him and party MP Amar Singh in Sena mouthpiece Saamna. Addressing a rally at the historic Azad Maidan in south Mumbai, to protest attacks Sunday on north Indians - who had arrived here to appear for railway recruitment examinations - by Shiv Sena and Raj’s Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), Azmi said the ruling government was “impotent” for its failure to arrest the Thackeray duo.

“Bal Thackeray and his nephew Raj Thackeray must be arrested under the Maharashtra Prevention of Dangerous Activities (MPDA) Act for inciting violence against north Indians,” Azmi said.

Alleging that “these persons” want to separate Maharashtra from the rest of India, Azmi said the country has one constitution and nobody can prevent anyone from appearing in examinations in any part of the country if he or she is qualified to do so.

Azmi also challenged Raj and his men to prevent the traditional north Indian festival of Chhat Puja in Mumbai to be held Nov 4.

Azmi’s ire was also fuelled by a scathing editorial in Monday’s Saamna that said Samajwadi Party leaders like Azmi and Singh should go to Pakistan where the Muslims needed them.

“In India, there is place for only Muslims like Salim Khan (father of Bollywood actor Salman Khan),” the editorial noted.

The editorial was in reference to the recent moves by some Samajwadi Party activists for a social and religious boycott of the legendary Bollywood script writer, who co-authored films like “Sholay” and “Don”, after he celebrated last month’s Ganesh festival at his home.

Azmi also announced Uttar Bharatiya Jago Abhiyan (North Indian awakening campaign) to make them aware of their rights enshrined in the constitution.

He also assured that the Samajwadi Party will protect the interests of “all north Indians in the state since the government of Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh has failed to initiate action against the Thackerays and the ‘goondagardi’ (hooliganism) of their respective party activists”.

“They should take note that nobody can throw the five million north Indians out of Mumbai, the SP (Samajwadi Party) is here to protect them,” Azmi declared.

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