Uddhav Thackeray felicitates six Shiv Sena workers who smeared Sudheendra Kulkarni’s face: Reports

Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday felicitated six Shiv Sena workers who allegedly smeared BJP ideologue Sudheendra Kulkarni’s face for protesting against former Pakistan Foreign Minister Khurshid Mahmood Kasuri’s book launch in Mumbai.

Uddhav Thackeray felicitates six Sena workers who allegedly smeared Sudheendra Kulkarni's face: Reports

Mumbai: Former ideologue of the BJP Sudheendra Kulkarni, with face blackened by Shiv Sena activists, and former Pakistan foreign minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri showing the latters book at a press conference in Mumbai on Monday.

According to reports, Uddhav Thackeray met them at Matoshree and felicitated them for vehemently protesting against Kasuri’s book launch by throwing ink on Kulkarni.

The six accused Gajanand Patil, Dinesh Prasad, Ashok Waghmare, Prakash Husbe, Samadhan Jadhav and Venkatesh Nair were on Monday arrested for the act and later released on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Sudheendra Kulkarni described himself as an “agent of peace” and not a “Pakistani agent” as labelled by Shiv Sena for hosting former Pakistan minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri and asked the saffron party to respect other people’s freedom of expression.

“I have been labelled a Pakistani agent in Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’. I respect their freedom of expression. They should also respect others’ freedom of expression,” Kulkarni said at a press conference in Mumbai.

Earlier in the day, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said that Shivsena is intensely nationalist and opposed the programme due to this attitude. Raut said, “Cops like Tukaram Ombale who laid down their lives fighting against Pakistan in Mumbai. Such police force was used by chief minister to protect Pakistan, insulting the martyrs.”

Also read: Sena calls Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis pro-Pakistan

“If fighting against Pakistan is a crime, then Shivsena has committed that crime.”

Accusing Sudheendra Kulkarni of being a “Pakistani agent”, Sena leader Raut had said that blackening of Kulkarni s face was a mild protest.”

Fadnavis had disapproved Shiv Sena’s protests saying the issue has brought disrepute to the state. He said, “We may not agree with views of somebody, but when a foreign dignitary or a diplomat arrives on a valid visa and holds a programme, which is not illegal, it’s the duty of a state to provide protection.”

Shiv Sena has also decided to go it alone in the forthcoming Kalyan-Dombivli Municipal Corporation election and not have any tie-up with the BJP. The decision was taken last night at a meeting of senior Sena leaders here, a Sena leader said.