Shiv Sena workers assaulted a man in Wadala and shaved his head after he called Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray bald in a Facebook post.
The incident took place Sunday, two days after 33-year-old Hiramani Tiwari, who works for a pharmaceutical firm, commented on Thackeray over his remark that the Delhi Police lathicharge on students of Jamia Millia Islamia University seemed to be a throwback to the days of Jallianwala Bagh.
Tiwari told police that soon after his post on December 20, his friend Prakash Hasbe, a Shiv Sena shakha pramukh in Wadala, asked him why he had posted such a remark. Tiwari said he immediately apologised to Hasbe, and called his post a mistake.
At 12.30 pm Sunday, two Shiv Sena workers showed up at Tiwari’s home and told him that Samadhan Jugdar, a shakha pramukh in Wadala’s Shanti Nagar locality, wanted to meet him. Police said the men took Tiwari to Jugdar who waiting outside a temple with an electric shaver.
A video of the incident shows a group of men assaulting Tiwari before Jugdar shaves off much of his hair. Jugdar warns Tiwari against writing anything defaming the Shiv Sena on social media. He can be heard saying that Tiwari has been taught a lesson and anyone insulting Thackeray will be dealt with similarly by the Shiv Sena.
Within minutes, police reached the spot and took Tiwari and Jugdar to Wadala TT police station. Neither man pressed charges on Sunday.
On Monday morning, Tiwari realised that the video of his humiliation had been uploaded on Facebook. He then lodged a complaint of assault and defamation against Jugdar with police. Jugdar also lodged a complaint against Tiwari for defaming Thackeray, police said.
Tiwari told The Indian Express that he wanted to put the episode behind him after tendering the apology. “I told the men that I had made a mistake. There was a lot of pressure on me to do so. The Shiv Sena can behave this way because it is in power and controls the police department. I do not understand why they have not registered an FIR. Police have given me protection because I am still facing a lot of pressure from the party,” he said.
He said he had been assured Sunday by Jugdar and his colleagues that they had deleted the video of his head being shaved. “But once they posted the video online, I had to to something,” he said.
While police said Jugdar was a shakha pramukh, the Shiv Sena distanced itself from the incident. A Sena functionary said, “We have identified the people involved in the incident. They are not office-bearers of the party. There seems to be a conspiracy to malign the party.”