“Goonda Raj” alleged on Shiv Sena as goons thrash naval officer over a cartoon

12th September 2020

12th September 2020

Ex naval officer Madan Sharma; garb of his thrashing by goons

Maharashtra is a matter of concern for all India and it’s not just raging Covid-19 in the state which has crossed a million mark.

Be it lynching of sadhus in Palghar or intimidation of actor Kangana Ranaut and now thrashing of ex-navy officer Madan Sharma, Maharashtra under the coalition government of Shiv Sena, Congress and National Congress Party (NCP) is resorting to strong-arm tactics unseen in independent democratic India but for Communist-run states.

The case of Madan Sharma is worth a mention in detail. The 65-year-old Navy officer had forwarded a satirical cartoon which featured Uddhav Thackeray and his allies Sharad Pawar and Sonia Gandhi.  This WhatsApp forward led to a group of goons entering his residential society and thrash him mercilessly. He ended up with wounds on his face and a bloodshot eye. Initially, as per Sharma, the police came to charge him on the incident.  The navy veteran subsequently registered an FIR at Samta Nagar Police Station. It led to arrest of six goons who managed to receive a bail within 10 minutes. A local Shiv Sen leader Kamlesh Kadam is among the accused.

As per the Mumbai Police, a Supreme Court order empowering police stations to release an accused on bail—in cases where the maximum punishment is seven years—was exercised in freeing the accused.

There are a number of red flags with this incident which bears readers’ attention. One a cartoon, neither vulgar nor abusive, just satirical which we see everyday in our newspapers, shouldn’t lead to violence. Two, its difficult to dismiss the allegation that it was the handiwork of Shiv Sena musclemen and this logic appears irrefutable: (a) Why would any other but partymen take offence at a cartoon on Uddhav Thackeray; (b) Why they were released within minutes by the law and order arm of the state; (c) Why no Shiv Sena leader has so far condemned the brutal attack against Madan Sharma.

The outcry around the country is understandable. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh called Madan Sharma in Shatabdi Hospital in Kandavilli and expressed concern over the attack on a personnel which come under his ministry.  Former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has also addressed Uddhav Thackeray to stem this growing “Goonda Raj” in the state.

Rajnath Singh, Shatabdi Hospital, Kandavilli, Devendra Fadnavis, Goonda Raj, state-sponsored terror, Pravid Darekar, ANI,

Fadnavis has appealed to Thackeray to “please stop this goonda raj (hooliganism),” and ensure “strong punishment to these goons.”

“It is very wrong and kind of (a) `state-sponsored terror’ situation. I called upon Uddhavji through my tweet to stop goonda raj. Six accused were released in 10 minutes,” Fadnavis was quoted by ANI news agency.

Apart from Fadnavis, the leader of the Opposition in the assembly—Pravin Darekar—has claimed that the men who assaulted the naval officer got bail because of the Shiv Sena.

Sharma has subsequently confirmed in a TV interview that he has conveyed to the Defence Minister that he is not happy the way Maharashtra government is acting recently. He expressed his concern about the state of affairs in the state. He also said no Shiv Sena leader or minister had contacted or apologized to him. He was also concerned that his family could come under a renewed attack by such anti-social elements.

Madan Sharma’s daughter told NDTV: “We don’t know how the photo (the cartoon) reached the Shiv Sena. We want strict action. The accused shouldn’t have got bail in this way. Police personnel had come to our house and spoke of a probe on us. I oppose this bail.”

Now has come a report that a man from Kolkata was arrested by the Mumbai police for allegedly threatening Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut. Interestingly, the Mumbai police travelled all the way to Kolkata to nab the man who is a resident of the city.

This is Maharashtra gone berserk.

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