As the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) indicated that it would stage a violent protest over Marathi signboards on shops in Mumbai, and hinted at targeting Gujarati traders, the state government said it was ready to tackle troublemakers.
“No political party is above the law. I have told the police to take stern action if there is any problem,” Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh said on Wednesday.
“Every government department knows its job well. The BMC will take care of the signboard deadline and the police will tackle street violence,” Deshmukh said.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, has set August 28 as the deadline for commercial establishments to put up signboards in Marathi besides other languages.
MNS president Raj Thackeray has said that his workers would stage protests from Friday if the signboards were not as per his diktat.
After his tirade against north Indians earlier this year, Thackeray has now also targeted baniyas (Gujarati traders).
Joint Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) K.L. Prasad said, “All police stations have been instructed to deal sternly with any kind of vandalism.”
Thackeray on Wednesday said, "We will not back out… we will not allow further insult of the Marathi language," he said.