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Sunday, Oct 20, 2019

Apologise for arrest of Bal Thackeray in 2000: Shiv Sena to NCP

Recently, Sena president Uddhav Thackeray had recalled the arrest of his father and said Maharashtra doesn’t appreciate politics of revenge and vengeance.

mumbai Updated: Oct 13, 2019 07:09 IST
Faisal Malik
Faisal Malik
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Responding to Pawar’s statement, Raut said, “Balasaheb was arrested on the insistence of a leader, arresting Balasaheb was a mistake, etc.
Responding to Pawar’s statement, Raut said, “Balasaheb was arrested on the insistence of a leader, arresting Balasaheb was a mistake, etc. (HT image)
         

The Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) government’s move to arrest Shiv Sena founder, the late Bal Thackeray, in 2000, in connection with the 1992-93 Mumbai riots is back in political discourse after 19 years. It was started by senior NCP leader Ajit Pawar, who said that arresting the Sena supremo was a mistake and he had opposed the move, but a few senior party leaders were adamant about it. Following this, the Sena has demanded that the NCP apologise for Thackeray’s arrest.

“I was of the opinion that politics should not be taken at this level [arresting a political leader]. But our views didn’t have that much importance at that time. And on the insistence of a few leaders, the decision was taken. However, I am still of the view we should avoid taking such decisions,” Pawar told a Marathi news channel on Friday.

In 2000, during the tenure of the Congress-NCP government, Thackeray was arrested for allegedly inciting communal hatred through inflammatory writings in Sena’s mouthpiece, Saamana, during the 1992-93 communal riots in Mumbai, after the Babri masjid demolition in December 1992. During the tenure of senior NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal, the home department had moved to arrest Thackeray. The Sena chief had surrendered before a court, but the case was quashed in the court.

Responding to Pawar’s statement, Raut said, “Balasaheb was arrested on the insistence of a leader, arresting Balasaheb was a mistake, etc. You took so many years to realise the mistake. If your tears are real, Ajit dada [Ajit Pawar] you should apologise for the arrest.”

On Saturday, Pawar further said, “I have said that we were not the decision makers and it was taken by senior cabinet ministers. We were junior ministers at that time. But I would have said no to it had they asked me...I am of the view that sometimes the ruling party creates unnecessary trouble for Opposition parties and the level of politics shouldn’t stoop this low.”

Responding to Sena’s demand for apology, the former deputy chief minister said the issue is too old and should not be stretched. “The matter is too old. So many years have gone. The concerned person [Bal Thackeray] is also no more. I don’t think this needs to be stretched further,” he said.

Recently, Sena president Uddhav Thackeray had recalled the arrest of his father and said Maharashtra doesn’t appreciate politics of revenge and vengeance. “My father was arrested not for corruption or any irregularity, but for protecting Hindus in Mumbai and Maharashtra during the 1992-93 riots,” Uddhav had said at the Dussehra rally of the party. He was responding to the NCP’s allegations that its chief Sharad Pawar was booked by the enforcement directorate out of political vendetta. Pawar was recently booked by the federal investigation agency in the alleged Maharashtra State Co-Operative Bank scam.

First Published: Oct 13, 2019 01:32 IST

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