A tense situation prevailed in Thane on the eve of Independence Day after Thane police had issued preventive notices to Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena’s Thane Member of Parliament (MP) Rajan Vichare and the party’s newly-appointed district head Kedar Dighe when the national flag was set to be hoisted by Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde at Shiv Sena’s Thane central district office on the midnight of August 14.
As per the tradition started by the late Shiv Sena strongman Anand Dighe who was a mentor to Shinde and Vichare, a flag hoisting ceremony is performed at Thane’s Shiv Sena central district office every year at the midnight of August 14 to commemorate India’s Independence.
After receiving the notice, Vichare had tweeted Sunday, “Shiv Sena will not be scared of any pressure tactics. Shiv Sena will not be afraid of any repression. As per the tradition of every year, all the Shiv Sainiks will go to the flag hoisting programme at 12 o’clock tonight at the Shiv Sena district branch in Thane. All freedom lovers are also requested to attend this flag hoisting event.”
Accordingly, both the leaders along with a few of the party workers reached the Thane party office for the event, which led to workers of both factions confronting each other for some time creating a tense atmosphere. However, there was no untoward incident.
Shinde who recently rebelled with the Shiv Sena that toppled the Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra to form the government with the help of BJP had continued the tradition after Dighe’s demise in 2000.
However this year, Shinde who became the CM after his rebellion was going to hoist the Tricolour but at the same time Vichare and Kedar Dighe, the nephew of Anand Dighe, who continue to be with the Thackeray faction had also announced that they will be present for the traditional flag-hoisting ceremony at the Thane party office that falls under the Naupada police station limits.
The Naupada police served notices on Vichare and Dighe along with other Shiv Sena workers stating that as the prohibitory orders have been issued and the CM is going to be present for the flag hoisting they should not indulge in any activity that may create law and order situation.
The police stated that action can be taken against Vichare and Dighe as per Section 188 of the Indian Penal code (IPC) if they do not comply with the prohibitory orders or if they or their supporters created any law and order situation.
Vichare and other Shiv Sainiks had claimed that the notices were sent to them to ensure their absence when the flag is being hoisted as they belong to Shiv Sena and they termed the move as a pressure tactic to stop them.
While speaking to the media after flag hoisting Maharashtra CM Shinde had said, “Amrit Mahotsav is being celebrated across the country. A wave of patriotism has run among the citizens. I extend best wishes to all the citizens on the occasion.”
He also said that the late Shiv Sena leader Anand Dighe must be happy that this tradition has been started in Thane in which all Shiv Sainiks can take part.