The Supreme Court's refusal to ban James Laine's book titled “Shivaji: The Hindu King in Muslim India” has led to widespread protests and burning of the author's effigy in Maharashtra.

The Shiv Sena led a protest in Dadar near the Sena Bhavan.

The apex court had on July 9 rejected the State government's plea to ban the book, clearing the way for its publication and circulation.

It had upheld the decision of the Bombay High Court to lift the ban. The State government had contended that the book contained material promoting social enmity.

Chief Minister Ashok Chavan announced that a three-member committee led by the State Advocate-General and comprising the Additional Chief Secretary (Home) and the Law Secretary was formed to advise the government on the legal options before it to stop the sale of the book. The book should not be sold or printed, he said, but “we want to do this in a legal framework.”

Mr. Chavan said the State government's ban should continue. Home Minister R.R. Patil said no insult to Shivaji Maharaj would be tolerated. He said Mr. Laine was in America, otherwise the government would have taken action against him. He also said that those researchers who helped Mr. Laine were investigated by the police, but they denied any involvement with the book.

The book was published in 2003 but the publisher withdrew it after public protests. In Maharashtra, there was violent opposition to the book.

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