On the eve of late Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray’s 87th birth anniversary, Sena’s South Central Mumbai wing distributed over 2,500 knives to women at a function organised by vibhag pramukh Ajay Chaudhary at Ganesh Galli in Lalbaug last evening. Sena plans to distribute another 18,500 knives through its various shakhas across the city soon.
Sena MP Anil Desai, former MP Mohan Rawale and other leaders were also present at the event. “This would surely help reduce women-related crime in the city. There is no politics behind the move and it is directed towards boosting the morale of women,” said Desai.
Chaudhary claimed that the knives were being distributed solely for self-defence and would not be misused. Sujata Savardekar (37), Pratibha Sapale (55), Shilpa Katate (40), Rashmi Sawant (43) and Chhaya Katkar (43), were the first few who received the knives in a symbolic gesture, following which Shiv Sainiks distributed the weapon to around 2,500 women.
“I will use this for my defence and will not misuse it,” promised Savardekar, a receiver of the knife. “I know about the legal consequences of carrying a weapon. In case any woman faces trouble just because she carries this knife, the party will provide legal assistance to her,” said Chaudhary.
Justifying the move, he questioned, “If terrorists can keep AK 47 with them, then why are our women not allowed to keep a small knife for their self-defense. We respect the law, but it will also help the police by avoiding any future crime. The knife is only for self-defense. I am already facing 14 cases and am ready to face another one for my sisters.” The knife being distributed is around six inches long, the blade is around 2.5 inches in length with the width being around half an inch.
“Schedule 1 (V) of the Arms Rules 1962 clearly states that apart from fire-arms, sharp-edged and deadly weapons like swords, daggers, bayonets, knives including kirpans with blades longer than nine inches or wider than two inches are prohibited. Carrying such weapons can attract imprisonment of one year which can be extended up to three years,” said Sadanand Date, joint commissioner Of police (law and order). Datta Karale, DCP (Zone IV), said, “Distributing such knives in public is against the law. Our police officers are at the spot and will take necessary action.” However, the event concluded smoothly.
Thackeray memorial gets BMC nod
The Sena’s insistence on a memorial at Shivaji Park for their departed leader Bal Thackeray paid off with the BMC obliging, but for one made of clay. Municipal Commissioner Sitaram Kunte said, “The memorial will be constructed of clay at Shivaji Park.” Rahul Shewale, chairman, standing committee, BMC said, “The BMC has given permission for the memorial at the same spot in Shivaji Park, just as the party demanded.”