Hanuman Chalisa row: Shiv Sena workers hurl footwear, water bottles at Kirit Somaiya's car
Mumbai, Apr 23: Shiv Sena workers hurled footwear and water bottles at the SUV of former BJP MP Kirit Somaiya when he was leaving Khar police station in Mumbai on Saturday night.
Somaiya had gone to the police station to meet arrested independent MP Navneet Rana and her MLA husband Ravi Rana, whose earlier call for chanting Hanuman Chalisa outside Maharashtra Chief Minister and Sena president Uddhav Thackeray's residence 'Matoshree' had angered the Sena cadres.
The BJP leader tweeted that he was injured in the attack by "Shiv Sena goons" and was going to the Bandra police station to file a complaint. Somaiya reached the Khar police station late evening in support of Amravati MP Navneet Rana and her husband MLA Ravi Rana who were arrested earlier in the day on the charge of creating enmity between different groups". The BJP leader enjoys a categorised security cover provided by the Centre.
Shiv Sena supporters, who had gathered outside the police station, protested against Somaiya's visit and shouted slogans. While he was leaving the police station in the SUV, a group of protesters hurled footwear and water bottles at his vehicle. Somaiya then travelled to the Bandra police station to file a complaint against Sena supporters.
Speaking to reporters, Somaiya said police officials present at the spot should be suspended and Shiv Sena supporters booked on the charge of the attempt to murder. The BJP leader also said he would not step out of his SUV unless the Mumbai police commissioner visits the spot.
On the other hand, Sena supporters claimed that Somaiya's driver tried to knock them down after leaving the Khar police station. Former Mumbai mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar, who was protesting outside the police station along with Sena workers, said that Somaiya's visit shows that the Rana couple enjoys the support of the BJP. "They are trying to disrupt the law and order situation in the city and Maharashtra," he alleged.
Somaiya tweeted, "Heavy stone-throwing at Khar Police Station by Shiv Sena Gundas, my car window glass broken, I am injured. Rushing to the police station." Tension started building up between Shiv Sena workers and the Rana couple after the latter declared that they will travel to Mumbai on Saturday morning to chant Hanuman Chalisa outside Uddhav Thackeray's private residence 'Matoshree' in Bandra.
Sena workers, including a large number of women, virtually laid a siege to the Rana couple's residence in the Khar area demanding an apology from them. The Ranas later withdrew their plan to recite Hanuman Chalisa, saying that they don't want any law and order issues ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit for a function in Mumbai on Sunday.