A day after he was attacked by Maharashtra Navnirman Sena MLAs, Samajwadi Party leader Abu Asim Azmi became the target of the Shiv Sena’s ire on Tuesday.
A group of Shiv Sena workers gheraoed Mr. Azmi on the Vidhan Bhavan premises for his alleged remarks against party leader Bal Thackeray.
Commenting on an editorial in the Shiv Sena’s mouthpiece, Saamna, Mr. Azmi had allegedly said Mr. Thackeray had become old and was speaking like a child. The editorial condemned Mr. Azmi for taking oath in the Assembly in Hindi.
In the evening, some Shiv Sena members broke the window of a shop owned by Mr. Azmi’s father at Colaba. The Mumbai police said an unidentified person threw a stone at the shop.
The police have registered a case against unknown persons under Section 336 (act endangering the life or personal safety of others) and Section 427 (mischief causing damage to the tune of Rs. 50).
Speaking to The Hindu on the phone, Mr. Azmi denied having made any statement against Mr. Thackeray. “I had not used any bad word against Mr. Thackeray. When I came out of the Vidhan Bhavan, they [Shiv Sena members] surrounded me and told me not to speak ill of [Mr. Thackeray]. They just wanted to make an issue.”
Mr. Azmi has not lodged any complaint with the police. His security has been stepped up after Monday’s assault. “I have a police van with me and some security guards."