After the controversy around a cartoon published in Shiv Sena’s mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ gathered enough dust, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray today apologised for the caricature that alluded to Maratha rallies.
“I apologise for the cartoon (on Maratha rallies) made in Saamana paper,” said Thackeray during a press conference.
The cartoon, which was first published in Saamana on Sunday depicts a “Mook Morcha” (silent army) while tweaking the words to “Mooka Morcha” (kiss rally). The Sena drew immense flak from various political parties for such a humour. The anger was such that on Tuesday, pro-Maratha organization, Sambhaji Brigade stoned the office of ‘Saamana’ in Mumbai.
Furthermore, advocate Vishnu Navale filed an FIR against Shiv Sena chief Thackeray, executive editor Sanjay Raut, cartoonist Ravindra Prabhudesai and printer and publisher Rajendra Bhagwat. The case was filed in Nanal peth police station under IPC Sections 153 A, 292, 505, 500, and 109.
Earlier, training guns at the Shiv Sena chief for ‘Saamana’ carrying a controversial cartoon, Congress said that by not tendering an apology Uddhav Thackeray was evading responsibility on a serious issue.
“Saamana is the mouthpiece of Shiv Sena. Marathas and the women expected Uddhav Thackeray to express regret and apologise. But by making only the cartoonist apologise, the Sena chief has tried to wash his hands of the matter and evade responsibility,” said Congress leader Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil.
The series of silent protests by the Maratha community have been going on in the state since August 9. The community, through these protests, have made three demands—reservation in job and education sector for the members of the community, a relook at the Atrocity Act and stringent punishment for the culprits of the brutal rape and murder of a 17-year-old Maratha girl in Khopardi, Ahmednagar.