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Thackeray calls for Hindu suicide squads; BJP says behave responsibly
June 18, 2008 18:14 IST
In controversial remarks, Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray on Wednesday advocated the creation of "Hindu suicide squads" to fight the scourge of "Islamic terrorism."
The remarks immediately drew sharp condemnation from the ally BJP which said Thackeray must behave responsibly.
The CPI, too, reacted angrily saying Thackeray should not attempt to instigate communal strife.
In a controversial editorial in the Sena's mouthpiece Saamna, Thackeray said "The threat of Islamic terror in India is rising. It is time to counter the same with Hindu terror. Hindu suicide squads should be readied to ensure existence of Hindu society and to protect the nation."
Thackeray went on to say that "the Hindus were safe during the Mughal invasion only because the Maratha warrior Shivaji had the courage to raise his swords against them".
The Shiv Sena leader's comments came against the backdrop of the 'Hindu bomb' allegedly planted by members of Hindu right wing activists in Thane's Gadkari auditorium in which seven persons were injured.
"It was heartening to know that it was the supporters of Hindutva who had exploded the bomb in the theatre. But it was sad to know that it was planted to hurt the Hindus and I am ashamed about it," Thackeray said, wondering why a theatre should be attacked.
BJP vice president Venkaiah Naidu said that people can't take law into their own hands.
"People should not take law into their hands. It is the duty of the government to counter terror," Naidu told reporters in Delhi.
Counselling Thackeray to respect the law, Naidu said BJP believes in democracy and the Constitution. "There are democratic methods to address the problem of terrorism," he added.