After being thrown black ink on his person on Monday in Mumbai, Observer Research Foundation (Mumbai) chairman Sudheendra Kulkarni said that Shiv Sainik also abused him.
The incident happened when Kulkarni was leaving his home in Sion, south central Mumbai, when a group of around a dozen alleged Sena activists accosted him.
They shouted slogans and asked him to cancel the event scheduled later Monday afternoon and then allegedly smeared him with black ink.
Kulkarni was attacked over former Pakistan foreign minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri’s book launch, scheduled to take place in Mumbai on Monday. Kulkarni has rejected the Shiv Sena’s demand to cancel the event, failing which the programme would be interrupted.
Sena spokesperson Sanjay Raut said, “It is difficult to predict where people’s anger against Pakistan would erupt.”
Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Shaina NC said the incident would be probed and those responsible for it would be booked.
Kulkarni said, “The Shiv Sainiks attacked me outside my home. Right when I was leaving they smeared black ink on me. I was abused by them.”
He added, “Shiv Sena has no right, power to ban the book launch. We will not cancel the book launch. We have taken a principled stand.”
Kasuri’s book is title ‘Neither a Hawk Nor a Dove: An Insider Account of Pakistan’s Foreign Policy’.
Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis said that not only Kasuri but all foreigners who have bene granted proper visas would be provided security. “Mr Kasuri and the programme will be provided total security,” he said. “But this doesn’t mean that we endorse all views expressed in the programme.”
Fadnavis added, “No anti-India propaganda will be tolerated through any such program if found so the organisers would be held responsible.”
Kulkarni said, “Na dhamki se, na sau bandook se, na goli se…baat banegi boli se (Neither by threats, nor by guns, or bullets, issues can be resolved only by dialogue).”
Kulkarni praised Fadnavis for “adequate security” on tweeter:
— Sudheendra Kulkarni (@SudheenKulkarni) October 12, 2015
Kasuri has invited Kulkarni at his book launch.
Last week, the Shiv Sena threatened the staging of two concerts by renowned Pakistani ghazal maestro Ghulam Ali that were subsequently cancelled in Mumbai and Pune.
Several angry reactions to the attack on Kulkarni:
Such Intolerance in India can't be tolerated. First Ghulam Ali concert and now Kasuri's book launch. We don't want a Desi Taliban in India
— digvijaya singh (@digvijaya_28) October 12, 2015
AAP strongly condemns the blackening of face of Sudhindra Kulkarni.The space for open debate is shrinking.This is serious.This is fascism.
— ashutosh (@ashutosh83B) October 12, 2015