Ban the MNS and Shiv Sena!

The hooliganism and violence unleashed by the MNS and Shiv Sena on North Indian candidates in railway recruitment exams in Maharashtra, which cost the life of one young man, is a grievous assault on our democracy.

The MNS and Shiv Sena had repeatedly targeted North Indian migrants in Maharashtra – workers, vendors, taxi drivers and students – without facing any stern punishment. This soft treatment by the Congress Government of Maharashtra and the UPA Government at the Centre has emboldened them to intensify their campaign of regional chauvinism and violence. Raj Thackeray’s brief arrest and prompt bail has only fuelled further rampage by the hooligans – undisturbed by the State Government.

Railways Minister Laloo Yadav and Steel Minister Ramvilas Paswan are paying lip service to the grave issue – if they are truly critical of the soft-pedalling of MNC violence by the Congress-led Governments at State and Centre, they should resign from the Central Government in protest against the inaction and failure to protect North Indian migrants to Maharashtra.

Regional chauvinism is against the Indian constitution and ought to have no place in a democracy. The Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamna, competing with the MNS, has openly declared that “Shiv Sainiks were monitoring the movements of those who arrived in the metropolis throughout the night and beat the candidates.” Raj Thackeray too had made public statements openly inciting violence. The UPA Government should answer why such open violators of the Indian constitution were not being banned, and were instead allowed to boast about beating up innocent youth and students.

AISA and RYA have declared a nation-wide campaign against the MNS and Shiv Sena. The West Bengal unit of AISA organized a protest rally and road blockade along with RYA on 20 October in Kolkata. In Delhi, AISA burnt an effigy of MNS-Shiv Sena at Parliament Street. In Uttar Pradesh, too AISA and CPI(ML) held protests.

In Bihar the AISA, RYA and CPI(ML) activists came out in protest in every district and also stopped trains to protest the outrageous attacks by MNS on innocent examinees. CPI(ML) burnt the effigy of Manmohan Singh and demanded that Ministers from Bihar in the UPA Cabinet must step down.

In Nalanda, the hometown of the Pavan, the boy who was killed in the MNS-Sena-sponsored violence, AISA and RYA ensured a Bandh on 23 October, and AISA-RYA have called for a Bihar Bandh on 25 October.

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