Mumbai:A day after Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) activists forced two shopkeepers to remove signboards because they were in Gujarati, the Federation of Retail Traders Welfare Association (FTWRA) on Saturday wrote to the Chief Minister's Office and city Commissioner of Police D.D. Padsalgikar regarding the incident.
On Friday, a group of MNS activists had gathered at a popular jewellery store and a restaurant in Mahim and made them remove the signboard with the name of their establishments in Gujarati. Viren Shah, president, FTWRA, said, “We wrote to the Chief Minister and police commissioner as the MNS has done this in 2008 as well. The establishments had their names in Marathi on their signboards, as is required by the BMC. If any establishment is at fault, it falls to the BMC to take action against them; hooliganism should not be entertained.” The letter says no political party or person can dictate and threaten shopkeepers or restaurants, and asks that shopkeepers be protected against threats and violence.
The MNS claims signboard in languages other than Marathi are an attempt to belittle the Marathi language, which will not be tolerated. “We have not moved away from our original agenda. Marathi has to be given preference in Maharashtra and there cannot be different opinions on this,” MNS leader Sandip Deshpande said.
He added that signboards in Gujarati cannot be allowed in Mumbai. “Marathi cannot be neglected and the party will continue its aggressive stand against any attempt to sideline the language.”
Mumbai Police spokesperson DCP Rashmi Karandikar said, “Three of the activists have been arrested and booked for Unlawful Assembly under the Indian Penal Code.”
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