Mumbai: The Shiv Sena and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) - both political rivals, taking strong exception to a recent cover page article in Tehelka magazine equating Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray with terrorists demanded unconditional apology from its editor.
While the Shiv Sena has threatened to start protest if Mathew Samuel, Tehelka’s Managing Editor who wrote the story, did not tender apology, the MNS has lodged complaint at a police station in Mumbai.
The complaint was filed by a member of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) Bala Nandgaonkar.
"Tehelka magazine should be banned immediately. The editor Mathew Samuel should be arrested immediately. He has tried to create rift between two cultures", Nandgaonkar said.
On its cover titled, ‘Who is the biggest terrorist?’ the magazine has the photographs of Thackeray along with those of executed convict of the 1993 Mumbai blasts Yakub Memon, underworld don Dawood Ibrahim and late Sikh extremist leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale.
"Yakub’s hanging juxtaposed with the State funeral by the erstwhile Congress-led UPA government for the Shiv Sena supremo is a powerful emblem of this discriminatory and prejudiced understanding that seriously impairs India’s fight against terror", the article observed.
“Thackeray has been compared to Yakub Memon and Afzal Guru. What do you mean by terrorist? The story uses provocative language. Yakub was given full opportunity to place his case. Courts were opened at wee hours for him. And still the State and the Supreme Court are criticised?” he added..
Lawyer Rajendra Shirodkar said, "The police should file a case against Tehelka- the editor should be arrested under non-bailable offences."
A station diary entry was made at the Shivaji Park police station on Saturday. “So far we have only received a complaint against Tehelka. We will decide on further action after seeking a legal view,” Deputy Commissioner of Police Mahesh Patil told The Hindu.
The Shiv Sena had on Sunday staged a protest against Tehelka in Thane - Mumbai suburbs.
Shiv Sena district chief and cabinet minister Eknath Shinde, who led the agitation, condemned the article and demanded an unconditional apology from the editor of Tehelka.
"If Tehelka weekly fails to apologise, the Sena would intensify its agitation," he said.
Meanwhile, Commenting on the complaint, Mathew Samuel, Tehelka’s Managing Editor, said: “I believe in freedom of the press. I stick to my story. What I have done is not new. I only put out the findings of the Justice Srikrishna report, which is already in public domain.”