Thackeray compares JNU violence with 26/11 Mumbai attacks

MUMBAI:

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Monday drew parallels between the Sunday's violence in New Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru University and the November 26, 2008 terror strikes in Mumbai which had provoked a similar outrage 12 years ago.

"Why were the attackers' faces covered? Why were they hiding? Seeing them, I was reminded of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks... They (the attackers) are cowards and the country will never support their acts," Thackeray said condemning the violence strongly.

He said "those who indulged in the JNU violence need to be unmasked and their faces must be known to the whole country", adding that in due course these hidden elements are bound to be exposed.

Thackeray demanded that - without going into the politics of it - whoever those masked perpetrators of the JNU campus violence may be, they should be "laid bare before the people" and meted out the harshest possible punishment.

Addressing the media, the Chief Minister issued a warning that if any similar attempts are made to create such a situation in Maharashtra, it will not be tolerated.

He assured the youth of the state that they are absolutely safe. "Nobody can harm even their hair, but if anybody tries to do, we will not spare them," he said.

Referring to his earlier statement last month that "the youth of the country are like a bomb and must not be tinkered with or their angst could explode", he assured his full support to the youth.

"There are apprehensions in the minds of the country's youth, students. There is a need to take them into confidence, address their doubts and make them feel secure of their future," Thackeray urged.

He said the youth symbolises the very foundation of the country's future and their thought process is important, "but if they do not feel secure even in their hostels, then it's a blot on the country", adding that the youth have nothing to worry about their safety in Maharashtra.

Earlier, top leaders and ministers of the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) alliance condemned the JNU violence which injured around 35 students and professors, leading to a nationwide outrage and a flurry of protests.

They include Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar, state Congress President and Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat, Shiv Sena Minister Aaditya Thackeray, NCP Minister Nawab Malik, Jitendra Awhad and others.