Sudheendra Kulkarni, who heads the Observer Research Foundation (ORF), was on Monday attacked by Shiv Sena party members, ahead of a book launch of former Pakistan foreign minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri being organised by ORF.
“Shiv Sena activists threw ink at me and smeared my face. They abused me,” Kulkarni alleged and said that his Observer and Research Foundation (ORF), a foreign policy think-tank, will hold Kasuri’s book launch as planned in Mumbai later today.
Meanwhile, reacting to the ink attack on Kulkarni, senior Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said “smearing ink is a very mild form of democratic protest.”
“We don’t know if ink or tar was smeared. Nobody can foretell how public anger will explode,” Raut said.
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While Kasuri, author of ‘Neither a Hawk nor a Dove’, said that political protests should be in a peaceful manner.
“As a politician, I understand the right to protest. But as long as it is peaceful it is justified. What happened with Kulkarni is not right. I am not here to fight. I am here to spread the message of peace. I have been invited here, and I won’t let down the people who have invited me,” Kasuri told reporters.
Kulkarni, who was a speechwriter for former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, met Uddhav Thackeray last night at Matoshree to seek his assurance against Sena’s threat to disrupt the event. However, the talks ended on a stalemate and Kulkarni said he was determined to carry on with the book launch.
Kasuri’s book ‘Neither a Hawk nor a Dove: An Insider’s Account of Pakistan’s Foreign Policy’ is scheduled to be launched today evening at an event in Worli area.
Earlier, Sena has forced organisers to cancel Pakistan ghazal singer Ghulam Ali’s concert in Mumbai and Pune.
Strongly condemn the attack on @SudheenKulkarni in Mumbai. Known him as a great intellectual,a fierce patriot,an admirer of Gandhi &Vajpayee
— Deepender S Hooda (@DeependerSHooda) October 12, 2015
Absolutely shameful and disgusting. No logic can ever justify this Shiv Sena attack on @SudheenKulkarni
— S l Habib (@irfhabib) October 12, 2015
Strongly condemn most dastardly attack on Sudheendra Kulkarni by Shiv Sainiks Udhav Thakre must control his goons Full support to Sudheendra
— digvijaya singh (@digvijaya_28) October 12, 2015
(With PTI inputs)