Mahasrashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray has complained to Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister RR Patil of having received a letter threatening to "pump bullets in his head", purportedly sent by residents of Shivaji Park, south-central Mumbai.
Surprisingly, the handwritten threat has been issued on a letterhead of the Maharashtra government's minister of state for the general administration department, which falls under Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh.
The letterhead bears the seal of the minister of state and the national emblem and the address of the secretariat.
When contacted by IANS on Wednesday evening, an MNS spokesman termed the letterhead as "forged" but declined to elaborate.
Apparently not willing to take any chances, the MNS has sent the letter to the office of Mumbai Police Commissioner DN Jadhav for investigations.
The letter was received at Thackeray's office late on Tuesday evening.
"We are definitely on the plan now. If the Mumbai police cannot, we will blow him up or pump bullets into his head," the letter warned.
Justifying the threat, the letter writers - it is signed by "Adnani" and "Desouza" on behalf of the "Shivaji Park residents" - contended they were tired of disruptions due to a spate of political rallies and the recent violence by Thackeray's men.
"There was a law and order situation for three days in early February due to violent clashes between MNS and Samajwadi Party activists," the letter said.
According to the letter writers, the 850 families living in and around the Shivaji Park - where Thackeray also lives - had suffered a lot due to the damage to properties in clashes.
Thackeray has also personally raised the issue with Patil. In a detailed three-page communication to Patil, among other things, Thackeray said that though he had now started getting threats to his life, the police were planning to withdraw his personal security.
He has also alleged that Mumbai Joint Police Commissioner K.L. Prasad had adopted a partisan attitude in dealing with the recent MNS tirade against north Indians living in the state.
When contacted, Prasad declined to comment on the issue, saying he was out of station.
Incidentally, the police have gagged Thackeray for the second time from addressing meetings, rallies or any public gatherings till Saturday. The order followed a similar order effective for two weeks till last Sunday.
The gag order came in the wake of violence against north Indians in different parts of Mumbai and elsewhere in Maharashtra leading to an exodus of nearly 15,000 migrants from the state early this month.
The violence has also been criticized by captains of business and industry since it led to interruptions in production, manufacturing and distribution activities in several industrial areas, particularly Nashik.