Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday criticised Rahul Gandhi for his statement that it was officers from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar who had taken on the 26/11 gunmen.

On his visit to Bodhgaya in Bihar, Mr. Gandhi had derided the Sena and the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) for their diatribe against north Indians. He had said, “Who killed the terrorists who had attacked Mumbai? They were the NSG guys from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and from the rest of the country. At that time they did not say throw away Biharis.”

Reacting swiftly and strongly, Mr. Thackeray through a front-page statement in the Sena mouthpiece Saamna said: “Valiant officers of the Mumbai police force, Hemant Karkare, Ashok Kamte, Tukaram Ombale [and others] have died a heros death. NSG [National Security Guard] commando Sandeep Unnikrishnan was also martyred. Rahul Gandhi has insulted the bravery of these officers. [He] should see which government was in power when Mumbai was attacked. Where was he during the attack? Why didn’t his Congress government take measures to prevent the attack?”