Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray on Monday charged the Maharashtra Home Department with failing to check the August 11 Azad Maidan violence and demanded the resignation of Home Minister R.R. Patil and Mumbai Police Commissioner Arup Patnaik.

Mr. Thackeray, along with son Aditya Thackeray and senior Sena leaders, including Manohar Joshi and Sanjay Raut, gathered at the 1857 Martyrs’ Memorial near Azad Maidan that was vandalised during the rioting.

Mr. Uddhav Thackeray recalled that it was the Sena which had constructed the memorial for martyrs Sayyed Hussain and Mangal Gadiya.

“If there is any shame left, he [Mr. Patil] should step down as he is unfit to continue as Home Minister,” he said.

He warned that the Sena would be compelled to launch a full-scale agitation if necessary steps were not taken to strengthen the “degenerating” law and order condition in the State.

Two people were killed and more than 50 people, including several policemen and media personnel, seriously injured in the rioting that broke out after agitators went on the rampage. People had gathered in large numbers to protest against alleged atrocities being committed on Muslims in Assam and Myanmar.

Mr. Thackeray said the Sena did not believe in playing vote-bank politics merely to cling to power.

MNS agitation

Meanwhile, Mr. Thackeray’s cousin, Raj Thackeray, is set to launch an agitation from Girgaum Chowpatty on Tuesday to protest against the rioting. His party, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) is gearing for the event amidst a heavy security blanket.

Last Saturday, the Mumbai unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party, along with the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, took out a protest rally denouncing the Azad Maidan violence and demanding a crackdown on migrants from Bangladesh.

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