BJP MPs move NHRC against attacks on retired Navy officer, others

In a letter to the rights body, the MPs demand investigation, list many such attacks in Maharashtra since Sena govt took over

BJP vice president Vinay Sahasrabuddhe

A group of BJP MPs led by party vice president Vinay Sahasrabuddhe has written to the National Human Rights Commission demanding a probe into the roughing up of a retired Navy officer in Mumbai and other such cases.

The BJP MPs in a letter to NHRC chairperson HL Dattu said there have been several rights violations in Maharashtra since December 2019.

The MPs said there have been incidents of complaints being filed against journalists and actor Kangana Ranaut after their criticism of the state government.

The letter gave an instance of an attack on Hiraman Tiwari over his social media post by those linked with Shiv Sena in December 2019. It also mentioned the Palghar incident in which three Hindu seers were lynched.

The letter also mentioned that Madan Sharma, a retired Navy officer, was thrashed by a group of men after he shared a cartoon targeting the Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.

“Physical attacks on the citizens over their exercise of rights such as freedom of speech to criticise the state government and the public servants ends up in state-sponsored violence,” the letter said.

“The government suppresses any voice of opposition with the help of state mechanism,” the letter said. “Whereas posting defamatory material against the prime minister or any other persons in opposition are conveniently overlooked due to the discriminatory practices adopted by the Maharashtra government,” the letter said.

Shiv Sena’s Lok Sabha MP Arvind Sawant declined to comment on the letter. “Such things should not be even responded to. No comments,” he said.

The letter is in a series of such attempts by the BJP to corner its erstwhile ally Shiv Sena which formed Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi government in alliance with the Congress and Sharad Pawar-led NCP.

BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis, who was Chief Minister briefly in his second term after the Assembly polls last year, has been made party’s campaign in-charge for Bihar Assembly polls due later this year. He along with several others, including actor Kangana Ranaut, demanded a CBI probe in the death of Sushant Singh Rajput, who belonged to Bihar.

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