MUMBAI: Police on Saturday arrested several Shiv Sena workers for taking out a rally without police permission. The Shiv Seha had given a call for the rally while accusing the police of having partisan approach during recent communal riots in the city, while the police had denied permission to the rally last night.
Shiv Sena workers gathered at the Paithan Gate area in large numbers. They had planned to go to the regional commissioner’s office. However, the police stopped the rally at the SB college and gathered all the participants on the college ground before showing a technical arrest.
While the police have started action against people involved in violence during the riots, the Shiv Sena has been accusing them of targeting party workers.
“Shiv Sena workers stopped the riots. But, now they are facing charges from the police,” Shiv Sena MP from the city Chandrakant Khaire had said. He had also accused that the blunders committed by the police fanned the riots.
However, apart from Shiv Sena several other Hindu right wing organizations too had participated in today’s rally that received good support from the local people.
However, police sources said that the rally was part of Shiv Sena’s political agenda to target Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in wake of the riots.
“Shiv Sena leaders have been trying to put blame on the police and thereby highlight the need of a separate home minister,” said a senior police officer while requesting anonymity. Fadnavis had been handling the charge of home ministry since he assumed office in October 2014 and had been targeted repeatedly by the opposition for that. However, now that the Shiv Sena sees an opportunity to get an additional ministry in the state cabinet, they have renewed attacks on the lack of full time home minister, the officer added. He also said that the Shiv Sena initially targeted the Muslims and the MIM for the riots. However, after sensing that doing so won’t fetch them any political gains they have started targeting the police.
Shiv Sena MP Khaire had openly defied the special investigation team gathered by the police to inquire into the riots. “We don’t believe the SIT,” Khaire had said while announcing today’s rally.
The SIT, in its preliminary report earlier this week, had defied the claims that the riots were pre planned providing a reason to Shiv Sena to accuse it of being partisan.