Shiv Sena to lock horns with Mumbai police

Mar 08, 2015, 07:55 IST | Dharmendra Jore

Peeved with cops' directives to curb the birth anniversary celebrations of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, party workers to come out on streets

Expect Shiv Sena workers to lock horns with the city police on Sunday as the party has accused cops of curbing the birth anniversary celebrations of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. The Sena said that cops have denied new Sena mandal (units) to celebrate the event and banned bursting of firecrackers and display of traditional weapons during the processions.

The Sena has asked sainiks to defy the police directives through its mouthpiece Saamna on Saturday. “Is the state being ruled by Mughals? How can the police say no for celebrating Shivaji Jayanti and also ban processions. We have been displaying traditional martial arts of talwarbaaji (sword battles) and lathikathi (wooden sticks combat) for many years. The sainiks are angry,” a news report said on Saturday.

The open defiance is perceived as a challenge to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who heads the police (home department). The two parties are at loggerheads on several issues of governance and policy making.

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray too asked his followers to defy the police orders. “We don’t need permission from anyone to celebrate Shivaji Jayanti (birth anniversary),” he said in a statement released on Saturday.

The police denied any ulterior motive behind the directives. Dhananjay Kulkarni, spokesperson of Mumbai police, told sunday mid-day that similar directives were issued ahead of any large-scale celebrations and religious functions. “These directives are being issued for several years.

We are not against any party or organisation. We have no objection to the people who install (Shivaji) statues and limit celebrations to a specific area. But they are not allowed to breach the processions routes.” The police directive says violations, if any, would invite legal action.

Sena legislator Anil Parab, who heads western suburban part of the Sena, said the party had given new mandals freedom to celebrate as per their wish, but in a lawful manner. “Who are the police to decide on Shiv Jayanti? Who else other than Maharashtra will celebrate the occasion?” he questioned. Parab said that he would also raise the issue in the budget session of the State Legislature, which begins on Monday.

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