Shiv Sena legislators forced the adjournment of the Maharashtra assembly proceedings here Monday, protesting against government inaction following the desecration of the statue of party supreme Bal Thackeray's late wife.
In a heated argument, the Shiv Sena accused the government of failing to maintain law and order in the state after the statue was vandalised by unidentified miscreants Sunday.
Countering these charges, the ruling Congress members alleged that the incident had been engineered by Shiv Sena activists themselves.
Shiv Sena members along with its ally, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), then disrupted the proceedings, forcing the speaker to adjourn the assembly.
Meanwhile, Mumbai police released sketches of the suspects responsible for the act of vandalism, but no arrests have been made so far.
"We have released sketches of three persons suspected to be behind the desecration of the statue, but we are yet to make arrests," Mumbai police chief A.N. Roy told reporters Monday.
Roy said that though normalcy has been restored in the city and its suburbs, the police are still on alert.
Violence broke out Sunday after unidentified people allegedly threw mud on the statue of Thackeray's wife, Meenatai, near Shivaji Park in Dadar in central Mumbai.
Shiv Sena workers set fire to buses, blocked traffic and forced shops to shutdown in many parts of Mumbai. Protestors also tried to stop local trains at several sub-urban stations.
The party had also called a shutdown strike in Navi Mumbai Sunday.
The defacement of the statue has, however, given the Shiv Sena and the BJP an issue to rouse its cadres and corner the government.
Senior BJP leaders justified the mob violence as a spontaneous reaction of the people. "Everybody respects Meenatai. The incident has hurt this respect and what happened was a spontaneous reaction of the public," said BJP leader Gopinath Munde Monday. "No organisation had ordered any action," he added.
Bal Thackeray's son, Uddhav Thackeray, said that the party would not call any shutdown strikes in Mumbai.
"There will be no bandhs in Mumbai and party workers will maintain peace," Uddhav was quoted in the party mouthpiece Saamna Monday.
--Indo-Asian News Service