Shiv Sena, the Bharatiya Janata Party alliance partner, has owned up, and justified its attack on Sudheendra Kulkrani for holding former Pakistan foreign minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri’s book launch ceremony in Mumbai.
This was only a soft attack and such attacks will continue as long as Pakistan is honoured in India.
“This is not ink, but the blood of our soldiers. The ink attack is just a soft reaction on Kulkarni,” said Sena MP Sanjay Raut. “If Kulkarni says that the Shiv Sena has done it then we have done it. Who else in the state has the courage to do these things,” he added
On 12 October, Observer and Research Foundation chairperson Kulkarni was attacked by Shiv Sena activists, at his residence, who smeared his face with black paint. “They (Shiv Sainiks) attacked me outside my home. Around eight to 10 activists came to my home and smeared black paint all over my face and abused me,” said Kulkarni.
Meanwhile, a case has been registered against six unidentifed Sena workers.
Undeterred, Kulkarni said, Kasuri’s book launch will not be called off. “We were threatened of disruption of the programme, but we will go ahead with it. They had even threatened the organisers of Ghulam Ali concert.”
Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis ensured full security cover to the programme. Going a step ahead, Kulkarni refused the security provided to him, saying that “I don’t want protection either before or after the incident”.
Fadnavis said, “Kasuri and his programme will be provided total security. However, no anti-India propaganda will be tolerated there. If found so, the organisers would be held responsible.”
Kasuri is scheduled to attend the launch of his book ‘Neither a Hawk nor a Dove: An Insider’s Account of Pakistan’s Foreign Policy’ in Worli area.
While addressing the media, Kasuri said, “One can undertsand the people’ right to protest, but look at what happened to Kulkarni—that is not protest. I came here with a message of peace. My book is about the time when former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee visited Pakistan in January 2004. Seeing what has happened Kulkarni, I am concerned about programme now.”