Bitta, Gill slam Thackeray for campaign against north Indians


New Delhi : All India Anti-Terrorist Front (AIATF) Chief M.S. Bitta and former top cop K.P.S Gill Thursday criticised Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray for provoking attacks against north Indians in Maharashtra.

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“When Punjab was suffering from terrorism, we Sikhs helped the government and saved people of other states such as Bihar, Haryana, Delhi, Maharashtra and others. We could have taken AK-47 in our hands but we didn’t,” Bitta said.

He was speaking at a function organised by AIATF to celebrate Anti-Terrorist Day at the Vigyan Bhawan here.

“What Raj Thackeray is doing is nothing but the politics of divide and rule. How can he walk free even after (being) arrested under so many cases? The government will have to take strict action such people,” he added.

The MNS has been carrying out an extensive campaign against the north Indians in Mumbai. MNS workers Sunday attacked non-Maharashtrians appearing for a railway board recruitment examination. Thackeray was arrested early Tuesday.

The 40-year-old Thackeray – an amateur cartoonist known till less than a year ago essentially as Bal Thackeray’s nephew who split from the Shiv Sena to form the MNS – was charged with provoking hatred among communities as well as rioting, assault and damage to property.

Gill, who played a key role in eradicating terrorism from Punjab, and playback singer Sonu Nigam were also present at the function.

Gill expressed concern over the kind of politics in the country. “Students are beaten while giving examinations for jobs,” said Gill.

“Whether you got to moon or you make a nuclear bomb, the country cannot progress unless people feel safe and secure. The only way is to promote brotherhood.”

Nigam said: “Me and my family narrowly escaped a bomb blast few years ago. Today everyone is affected by terrorism. I won’t take names, but at some places buses are damaged and trains are damaged in our country.”