Madan Sharma, a 62-year-old Navy veteran, was thrashed by Shiv Sena workers after he forwarded a "derogatory" cartoon on Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Friday. The incident took place in Lokhandwala Complex area in suburban Kandivali.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray was severely criticised after the incident. Opposition leader Devendra Fadnavis called it the government's "Gunda Raj" and demanded strong action. Even Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh took note and said the attack was "completely unacceptable and deplorable".
Meanwhile, Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha MP and the party's newly appointed national spokesperson Sanjay Raut said that the reaction to the attack was "extreme". "There has been an extreme reaction. There should not have been a reaction," he told India Today. Raut also said that the party has not denied about the attackers being Shiv Sainkis. "We have not denied that these men are Shiv Sainiks," he said and added, "This is not a planned attack."
Raut also raked up attack in Uttar Pradesh on an ex-serviceman's family and arrests in West Bengal over sharing of cartoons and memes. He said, "In Uttar Pradesh, an ex-serviceman's family was attacked. Was there any regret by the Uttar Pradesh government? This should not happen anywhere." "There has been action when there is cartoon, there was action. In Bengal, a girl was arrested," he said.
On Sunday, the Navy veteran "requested" CM Uddhav Thackeray to resign. "I request Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray ji that if you cannot run the government, then you should resign. Let people elect a government that can maintain law and order in Maharashtra," he said.