The Shiv Sena wants the burqa to be banned saying it is being misused for stealing children from hospitals.
“A two-month-old boy has been stolen from VN Desai hospital at Santacruz. It was found that a burqa-clad woman stole the baby,” the editorial said, addressing its questions to home minister RR Patil. “The CCTV footage showed a person wearing white shoes but clad in a burqa. What is the use of such footage?”
The party has appealed to Muslim organisations to support the demand and prevent the misuse of the garment. “The burqa is being used to steal children. This is against Islam and Muslims should support the ban,” the editorial said.
Saamna’s editorials, written by executive editor, Sanjay Raut, are often seen as Sena chief, Bal Thackeray’s, stand on various issues.
The editorial called French President Nicolas Sarkozy a “revolutionary” for banning the burqa despite opposition. It also cited the example of Turkey where President Kemal Pasha banned the burqa after a man from the enemy camp attended a secret meeting wearing one.
“If a Muslim country and a Muslim leader could do it, without letting the issue of Islam come in, India should not fear,” the editorial said.
It said the burqa poses a threat to hospitals and in election voting queues because there is no way of knowing who is behind the veil.
The Sena also said the garment represses Muslim women. “Is the Rs 65,000-crore being spent on upliftment of Muslim women, following the recommendations of the Sacchar committee, only to keep them inside a burqa?’ the editorial asked.
Minister of state for medical education, Varsha Gaikwad, dismissed the Sena’s demand.
“It is only a political stunt. The issue is very sensitive. I have asked hospitals and the police to keep vigil. I will meet home minister RR Patil on Wednesday and we will look at how the issue can be resolved,” Gaikwad said.