Narayan Rane claims terror plot to bomb Matoshree in 1989

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Published: May 15, 2019 3:37:08 PM

He says the Shiv Sena lost the Maharashtra legislative assembly elections in 1989, and the defeat put Thackeray in an even more vulnerable position as state security was controlled by the Congress.

According to him, Thackeray declared at the presser that if the Sikhs continued to fund extremism, he would ensure that they were socially and economically boycotted in the city.

Terrorists had planned to carry out a blast at Matoshree, the abode of the Thackerays in 1989, forcing Shiv Sena patriarch Bal Thackeray to direct every member of the house to shift to a safer place for a few days, claims former Sena member Narayan Rane. Sharad Pawar, who was the chief minister of Maharashtra then, called Bal Thackeray’s youngest son Uddhav and informed him about the threat, the BJP-backed Rajya Sabha member says. He also claims that Thackeray was on the hit-list of Khalistanis. The separatist Khalistani movement had found supporters in several cities, including Mumbai. On March 19, 1988, Bal Thackeray organised a press conference, where he circulated a questionnaire seeking assurances from the torchbearers of the Sikh community in the city that they had not been financing the movement’s activities, says Rane.

According to him, Thackeray declared at the presser that if the Sikhs continued to fund extremism, he would ensure that they were socially and economically boycotted in the city. Rane mentions these incidents in his memoir “No Holds Barred: My Years In Politics”. He says the Shiv Sena lost the Maharashtra legislative assembly elections in 1989, and the defeat put Thackeray in an even more vulnerable position as state security was controlled by the Congress.

“He (Thackeray) amped up protection at Matoshree and everyone was on high alert. In the midst of all the tension, a newly-married Uddhavji received an unexpected phone call from Chief Minister Pawar Saheb, who asked him to come and see him immediately. Alone – he had specified,” Rane writes. Pawar shared a close camaraderie with Thackeray and “owing to that relationship, he informed Uddhavji that he had received reliable information that a plot to bomb Matoshree had been hatched and the terrorists who were to execute it had arrived in the city”, he says.

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