Cong, BJP denounce Thackeray's remarks; Mah govt to inquire

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Mumbai/ New Delhi, Jun 18 (UNI) The Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party today deplored the controversial remarks of Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray on the need for the formation of Hindu suicide squads to counter Islamic terrorism, while Maharashtra deputy chief minister R R Patil said the government will inquire into the comment.

The Congress also called upon the Maharashtra government to take action against those inciting violence.

''This is a clear call not only to lawlessness and violence but will also be a death knell of people's democracy,'' Congress spokesperson Jayanti Natarajan told reporters in New Delhi.

She said such a remark was anti-national and prejudicial to the secular fabric of the nation.

''We condemn this irresponsible remark and reject it with contempt,'' Ms Natarajan said.

Meanwhile, BJP vice president Venkaiah Naidu said Mr Thackeray should behave in a more responsible manner. ''People should not take the law into their hands, as it is the responsibility of the government to curb terrorism,'' he addded.

Advising Mr Thackeray to respect the law, Mr Naidu said the BJP believes in democracy and the Constitution of the country.

''The problem of terrorism can be only tackled by democratic means,'' the senior BJP leader asserted.

In a related development, Mr Patil in Mumbai said the Maharashtra government would look into the Shiv Sena mouthpiece 'Saamna' editorial in which Hindus were exhorted to form suicide squads.

Mr Patil said, ''We have taken cognizance of the editorial and will inquire into it.'' In the hard-hitting editorial in 'Saamna', Mr Thackeray also ridiculed the recent incidents of bomb blast in Thane and Vashi by Hindu organisations.

He said history showed that Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj protected Hindus against Mughals with his sword, while during the Independence movement, Lokmanya Tilak openly supported Hindutva, which resulted in increasing the voice of Hindus in the Congress.

The editorial was referring to two recent bomb blasts at an auditorium in Thane and in Vashi during staging of Marathi play 'Aamhi Pachpute'.

Ridiculing the incident of bomb blasts by Hindu organisations in which seven people were injured, he said in place of injuring the people, the two organisations 'Sanatan Prabhat' and 'Hindu Jagran manch' could have taken the producer, director, writer of the drama to task.

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