AN ATTEMPT to burn a skirt-clad effigy of Congress president Sonia Gandhi led to fisticuffs between Shiv Sena cadres and City Youth Congress activists in the Rajwada area on Saturday amid accusations of police bias by YC men, a charge the MG Road Police denied.
The Sainiks had planned to burn a cardboard cutout of Sonia dressed in western clothes to counter the burning of Sena supremo Bal Thackeray’s effigy by YC workers recently. Trouble began when the Sainiks, heading towards Rajwada from Aada Bazaar, were accosted by YC workers who objected to the ‘obscene’ manner in which the Congress president’s effigy was clothed.
The protestors attempted to snatch the effigy from the Sainiks leading to a scuffle between the two groups. “As soon as we managed to tear the cutout from their grasp policeman who until then were standing quietly nearby set upon us with lathis,” charged City YC president Devendra Singh Yadav. Yadav said four of his party colleagues - Babu Purohit, Amit Sonkia, Mahim Sharma and Bharat Solanki - were injured during the caning.
Howevr, the MG Road police station denied that YC workers were caned by the cops. In a statement issued later in the day the YC president castigated the Shiv Sena for ‘unparliamentary and obscene’ method of protests. In a democracy everyone is entitled to their point of view but care must be taken to ensure that protests do not ‘insult and degrade’ women.
Yadav warned Shiv Sainiks to desist from such activities and threatened that the YC would give a befitting reply if a similar incident occurred in the future.