In name of secularism, Hindutva made to stand in the dock: Thackeray

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Mumbai, Jul 11 (UNI) Sharply reacting to the conviction of senior leader Madhukarrao Sarpotdar for ''delivering provocative speeches during December 1992'', Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray has remarked that ''Hindutva'' has always been made to stand in the dock in the name of ''secularism''.

In an editorial in the Shiv Sena mouthpiece ''Saamna'' entitled ''Hindunna phanshi (Noose for Hindus)'', Mr Thackeray has expressed unhappiness over the punishment meted out Sarpotdar and Ashok Shinde, both of whom have been sentenced to a year's imprisonment.

The editorial, incidentally, does not mention the name of estranged Shiv Sainik Jayawant Parab, who has been similarly sentenced.

Mr Thackeray has sought to know in the editorial as to why slogans like ''Garv Se Kaho Hum Hindu Hain'' or ''Mandir Wahin Banaenge'', were considered as inciting.

The edit recalled how the then police commissioner Shrikant Bapat was removed when he tried to take action against rioters and how there were instances of attack on him. The edit also recalled that ten policemen were done to death during the 1992 riots, but wondered how many people were punished for that crime.

The edit remarked that accused in Parliament attack case, Afzal Guru, can be considered for ''mercy'' only because he is a ''Muslim'' and because that will enasure the Muslim votes.

The 1992 riots were pre-planned and Hindus were targetted and killed, the editorial said ading that the Shiv Sena had then done everything to protect the Hindus.

If traitors are protected and Hindus are ''hanged'', then it would not be a surprise if Afzal Guru becomes the prime minister of the country some day, the organ remarked.

UNI JM MAZ RL HT1617

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