Madan Sharma, the retired Naval officer who was assaulted Friday – allegedly by members of the ruling Shiv Sena – hit out at Uddhav Thackeray this evening, telling the Maharashtra Chief Minister “if you can’t look after law and order, then resign and let people decide…”.
Mr Sharma, who was attacked for sharing a cartoon mocking Mr Thackeray, also demanded that “all political workers and organisations of Uddhav Thackerayji should seek (an) apology from the entire nation”.
“I’m injured and stressed. What happened, is saddening. I’d like to tell Uddhav Thackeray that if you can’t look after law and order, then resign and let people decide who should,” Mr Sharma was quoted by news agency ANI.
“All workers and organisations of Uddhav Thackerayji should seek (an) apology from the entire nation… such an incident (should) not take place again with anyone else,” he added.
“If something happens to me or my family, I will blame Uddhav Thackeray,” he said, according to news agency PTI.
This morning bail was granted to the six men accused of the assault. A local Sena leader, Kamlesh Kadam, is among those accused.
According to Mumbai Police, a Supreme Court order empowering police stations to release an accused on bail – in cases where the maximum punishment is seven years or less – was exercised in the release of the accused.
Mr Sharma’s daughter told NDTV: “We don’t know how the photo (the cartoon of Mr Thackeray) reached the Shiv Sena. We want strict action. The accused shouldn’t have got bail in this way. Police personnel had come to our house and spoke of a probe on us. I oppose this bail.”
Mr Sharma’s assault has added to the row in Maharashtra, where the ruling Shiv Sena and the opposition BJP have been trading barbs over the Sushant Singh Rajput case, the subsequent investigation by the Narcotics Bureau and comments by actor Kangana Ranaut on the Mumbai Police.
Earlier today former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis also hit out at Mr Thackeray, accusing his government of a “kind of (a) ‘state-sponsored terror’ situation“.
Madan Sharma, 65, was attacked near his home in Mumbai’s Kandivalli East. Images posted online showed him with wounds on his face and a bloodshot eye.
In his complaint Mr Sharma said he had forwarded the cartoon to his residential society’s WhatsApp group. He later received a call from Kamlesh Kadam, who asked him for his name and address.
Later that day, in the afternoon, he was called outside his building and attacked by a group of men.
With inputs from ANI, PTI