MUMBAI: At a time when ruling Shiv Sena in Maharashtra is facing criticism for the assault on a retired Navy officer by its workers, its alliance partner Congress on Sunday alleged an ex-serviceman from Jalgaon was fighting for justice since 2016 when he was "attacked" on the orders of then BJP MLA who went to become an MP.
The retired Navy officer, Madan Sharma (62), was attacked in suburban Kandivali on Friday for allegedly forwarding a cartoon lampooning Maharashtra Chief Minister and Sena president Uddhav Thackeray on social media.
State Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant alleged ex-serviceman Sonu Mahajan from Jalgaon has been fighting for justice since 2016 when he was "attacked on the orders of then BJP MLA Unmesh Patil who went to become an MP".
"The Devendra Fadnavis government did not file an FIR despite the CM also being the home minister at the time. An FIR was filed on the orders of the High Court in 2019 but even then the government did not take action against Patil," Sawant claimed.
He asked if Defence Minister Rajnath Singh would step in to ensure Mahajan gets justice.
In a video posted by Sawant, a man identifies himself as former BSF (Border Security Force) jawan Sonu Mahajan.
Sawant added a case was filed against the men who attacked retired Navy officer Madan Sharma in Mumbai on Friday and they were arrested.
He said the Congress would pursue the Sonu Mahajan case to ensure he gets justice.
Meanwhile, Kandivali (East) MLA Atul Bhatkhalkar of BJP slammed Sena leader Sanjay Raut, who he said claimed that "Sharma had worked in Merchant Navy and not in the Indian Navy".
He said Sharma had retired as chief engineer from the Navy and posted the latter's ex-serviceman identity card on Twitter.
When contacted, Raut told PTI that he never said that Sharma didn't retire from the Navy.
Raut said Maharashtra is a state that follows the law of the land, and added that Friday's assault was an expression of anger by Shiv Sainiks.
The attackers were immediately arrested, Raut said, adding that it was sad the Opposition was politicising the incident.
"People may lose patience if those occupying Constitutional posts, like that of president, prime minister, governor, chief minister etc are ridiculed," Raut said.