“No Shiv Sainik will indulge in any sort of violence after the Ayodhya verdict.”
It was an unusual order from Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday, one that took his party activists by surprise.
“Sainiks have been instructed to maintain peace after the Babri-Ayodhya verdict [to be delivered by the Allahabad High Court on Friday],” said Thackeray.
The state government, not having forgotten the Sena’s role in the riots after the Babri Masjid demolition on December 6, 1992, heaved a sigh of relief.
A top Sena leader said on condition of anonymity that Thackeray’s stand was well thought out. “This verdict will be appealed in the Supreme Court. Also, with the country having faced so many terror attacks, anything adverse that the Sena does would send a negative message to voters,” he said.
Thackeray asked all Sena shakha heads to keep their cadres in check.
“We want to see if Chavan, who was on the streets monitoring security during protests against My Name is Khan and during Rahul Gandhi’s visit, does the same for the common man,” Sena mouthpiece Saamna reported Thackeray as saying.
He also warned the government not to put “unnecessary restrictions on Ganesh immersions”. “The police should not put restrictions in the name of law and order,” Thackeray said in a statement.