Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said on Sunday law will take priority over political affiliations after his party’s workers were arrested for assaulting a retired officer of the Indian Navy, who forwarded a cartoon mocking Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray.
Madan Sharma, the former Indian Navy officer, was once assaulted on Friday in the Kandivali area of Mumbai allegedly by a group of workers of the ruling Shiv Sena.
“The law is all the time respected in Maharashtra. The accused were arrested immediately, without reference to the party they were associated with,” Raut was once quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
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Raut said that the incident of assault could have happened to anyone. He pointed to the call made by defence minister Rajnath Singh and the number of attacks on ex-servicemen in Uttar Pradesh – a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-ruled state – as polite.
“Maharashtra is a large state. Something like this can happen to anyone. Are you aware how many ex-servicemen have been attacked in UP? But the defence minister didn’t call them. Our government believes that no blameless person will have to be attacked,” Raut told ANI.
The Sena leader was once referring to Singh’s call to the retired naval officer on Saturday.
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“Spoke to retired naval officer, Shri Madan Sharma who was once attacked by hooligans in Mumbai and enquired approximately his health. Such attacks on Ex-Servicemen is totally unacceptable and deplorable. I wish Madanji a speedy recovery,” Singh tweeted.
Sharma had forwarded Thackeray’s cartoon on a group on WhatsApp. The six Sena workers asked Sharma to meet them at his housing society’s gate in Thakur Complex. The six men, including shakha pramukh Kamlesh Kadam, then assaulted the ex-serviceman.