Cong condemns Thackeray's remarks; Mah govt to inquire

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New Delhi/Mumbai, June 18 (UNI) The Congress today strongly condemned the ''anti-national'' remark made by 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 remark.

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.

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.'' Mr Patil, on the other hand, said the government would look into the Shiv Sena mouthpiece 'Saamna' editorial in which Hindus were exhorted to form suicide squads.

In a brief interaction with reporters, 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.

UNI Team PK UCS1904

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