A 30-year-old man from Mumbai’s Wadala area was beaten and his head tonsured allegedly by Shiv Sena supporters after he posted a derogatory comment about Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, PTI reported on Tuesday. The incident took place outside Hiramani Tiwari’s Shanti Nagar residence on Sunday.
Tiwari had chastised Thackeray for comparing the police action against Jamia Millia Islamia students on December 15 with the 1919 Jallianwala Bagh massacre. The post was uploaded on December 19 from a Facebook account under the name “Rahul Tiwari”, said the police. However, Tiwari had deleted the post after he got threats. “After that 25-30 people thrashed me and shaved my head,” he told ANI.
Videos of the assault have gone viral on social media. A group of men is seen abusing and assaulting Tiwari. They initially beat him up and later forcibly shaved his head.
An unidentified police official said Tiwari and the accused have reached a compromise. A case would be filed if we receive a complaint, said the official. The Wadala TT police station issued notices to both Tiwari and the accused. “The two parties had resolved their differences and [the parties] should abide and maintain law and order and if they fail to do so, they will be prosecuted and an FIR will be registered against them under appropriate sections,” read the notice, according to India Today.
However, Tiwari said he was forced to compromise. “I went to the police station,” he told ANI. “Police officials prepared a report that I was beaten up. But after some time they typed a new letter and asked me to compromise... I demand strict action in the case.”
Tiwari said his attackers should have taken legal recourse rather than taking the law into their hands. “I was just airing my views,” he said. Tiwari had been involved with right-wing outfits like the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal earlier.
The Shiv Sena called the incident unfortunate. “It diverts attention from real issues facing the state,” an unidentified party leader told NDTV. “The party is going to reach out to workers asking them to refrain from being provoked and distracted from real issues.”
The Shiv Sena had voted for the Citizenship Act amendments in the Lok Sabha but had abstained from voting in the Rajya Sabha. The party is a former ally of the Bharatiya Janata Party, but is now in alliance with the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party in Maharashtra. On Monday, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray told Muslim delegations that the amendments to the Citizenship Act and the proposed National Register of Citizens will not be implemented in the state. He added that the state government will not build any detention centres.
Protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens have engulfed India in the past two weeks. The protests saw peaceful marches as well as intense clashes between the police and the demonstrators. At least 24 people have died so far, including 17 in Uttar Pradesh alone.