The row over the release of Shah Rukh Khan’s new film My Name is Khan has blown up into a political war between the Shiv Sena and the Congress.
On Tuesday, Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray said he was surrendering his government-provided security, after Chief Minister Ashok Chavan said he would not hesitate to take away Uddhav’s security if the Sena continued with violent protests.
For several years now, both Sena chief Bal Thackeray and Uddhav have had a high level of security (Z category) provided by the state.
“We did not ask for the security. Who is the CM to threaten me? I am myself surrendering the security cover provided to me,” Thackeray told Hindustan Times.
He said he had asked the police personnel protecting him to go back to their respective police stations.
Things came to a head on Tuesday after the Sena stepped up protests against the soon-to-be-released SRK film, with workers demonstrating outside nine theatres and vandalising three, stalling advance bookings and tearing up film posters. The police have arrested 380 suspected Sainiks.
The row began after Shah Rukh Khan spoke in favour of inclusion of Pakistani players in the IPL two weeks ago.
Film director and producer Karan Johar met Chavan and Home Minister R.R. Patil in the evening to discuss security measures. Earlier in the day, he also visited Mumbai police commissioner D. Sivanandhan’s Crawford Market office to express concern.
“We will not provide security to any person who indulges in violent acts,” Chavan said.
The state on Monday had already withdrawn the security of three Sena legislators who participated in protests against Rahul Gandhi’s visit.