MNS activists tear off Bachchan posters in Mumbai (Roundup)

September 8th, 2008 - 11:22 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Sep 8 (IANS) Ignoring Police Commissioner Hasan Gafoor’s warning against taking law in their hands, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) activists Monday evening went on a rampage in parts of the city, tearing off posters of films and advertisements featuring superstar Amitabh Bachchan and his family members.Gafoor told the media that if MNS activists created any disruptions in the city, they would be firmly dealt with under the law. He also assured security to all cinema halls exhibiting movies starring the Bachchan family, including Amitabh, Abhishek and Aishwarya.

However, the MNS activists tore off movie posters of the Bachchans outside multiplexes in suburban Kandivli, Goregaon and Dadar. Aggressive MNS boys even tore off a huge hoarding showing Abhishek in an advertisement.

There were reports of similar acts of hooliganism from different parts of Maharashtra, the police said.

In Akola district, activists tore off posters featuring the Bachchans and made a bonfire of it on a main road.

In Nanded and Yavatmal districts, MNS workers tore off posters and burnt effigies of Amitabh Bachchan’s wife Jaya Bachchan, Samajwadi Party MP and herself an actor, as well as others in her family.

In a significant development, other political parties like Shiv Sena and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) have expressed their displeasure over Jaya Bachchan’s alleged remarks here Sunday that north Indians in Maharashtra should only speak Hindi.

Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh told mediapersons in his home district Latur that if a person could not speak Marathi, there was no harm if he or she speaks in Hindi.

MNS chief Raj Thackeray Monday demanded an unconditional apology from Jaya Bachchan for her alleged anti-Marathi utterances, failing which the party would prevent screening in Mumbai of all films starring any of the Bachchans.

He also pointed out that Jaya Bachchan had “insulted” the state and its people under the guise of promoting national language. “Nobody has right to insult our mother tongue in the name of the national language,” he thundered.

The MNS chief said if she had so much love for Hindi, then she and her family members could work in “advertisements and films in Uttar Pradesh”.

He also said that unless she apologized, Marathi-speaking people would boycott all products endorsed by the members of the Bachchan family.

At a function in Mumbai Saturday night when called to speak, Jaya Bachchan said: “People of Maharashtra, please excuse me. I am from Uttar Pradesh so I will speak in English.”

However, the Samajwadi Party youth wing of Mumbai has rushed to the rescue the Bachchans. Its president Farooq Ghosi has announced that his supporters would ensure that MNS activists do not disrupt screening of the Bachchan family members’ films anywhere in the city.

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