Suspected Maharashtra Navnirman Sena activists on Wednesday vandalised the south Mumbai office of former city sheriff Nana Chudasama for writing an 'anti-Marathi' banner in which he has opposed state government's "diktat" on reserving prime time slots for Marathi movies in multiplexes.
The incident occurred days after Shiv Sena and RPI activists held separate protests outside the Cuffe Parade residence of socialite and columnist Shobhaa De for opposing the government order on Marathi movies.
According to police, a group of 10-15 men barged into Chudasama's office situated on the first floor of China Mahal at Sundermal Junction at around 4 PM and removed the banner before setting it ablaze even as they shouted slogans hailing Marathi people and criticising Chudasama.
"We have registered a case of rioting and are also imposing section 7 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act (against the vandals). We will also arrest the accused persons," Additional Commissioner of Police (South region) Krishna Prakash told PTI.
Though the staffers at Chudasama's office claimed the men were from MNS, the Raj Thackeray-led outfit has not commented on this so far.
Reacting on the incident, Chudasama's daughter and BJP spokesperson Shaina NC said, ""My father has been writing
these banners. The banner in question read: Promoting Marathi welcome. Diktats not welcome. Tell me, what is wrong in this banner. It is not anti-Marathi. You cannot barge into an 84-year-old's office and burn a banner."
"Ransacked! Vandalised! My father Nana Chudasama's office by MNS goons against his banner #FreedomOfSpeech #Condemn," she tweeted.
When contacted, former Additional Director General of Police P K Jain said the law enforcement agencies should firmly put an end to such incidents by taking a stern action.
"Having ideological differences is a different thing, but this hooliganism should not be allowed in our civilised society. Physical violence has no place (in society) and should not get the place," Jain said, adding vandalism would never boost Marathi culture.
The BJP-Sena government recently mandated multiplexes across the state to screen Marathi movies in time slots as per convenience of Marathi film producers after its earlier directive asking multiplex-owners to screen Marathi movies in prime slot of 6-9 PM drew flak.