Shiv Sena Workers Protest Against India Playing Cricket With Pakistan

19/10/2015 3:25 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
Hindu right-wing Shiv Sena activists burn an effigy and pictures of Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, top, and Pakistan's Prime Minister's Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz during a protest in New Delhi, Saturday, Aug. 22, 2015. From left to right, the banners in Hindi read: "declare Pakistan terrorist state", "destroy terrorist camps in Pakistan", "no peace talks in response to bullets". Pakistan and India have a history of tense relations. They have fought two of their three wars over Kashmir since gaining independence in 1947. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

NEW DELHI -- Continuing their tirade against Pakistan-related events in Maharashtra, Shiv Sena workers today stormed the Board of Control For Cricket In India (BCCI) office in Mumbai to protest against a meeting of the cricketing boards from both countries to discuss the upcoming India-Pakistan bilateral series.

"Why regret? I am proud of what Shiv Sainiks did. Exactly what Balasaheb would have wanted," said Shiv Sena senior leader Arvind Sawant, ANI reported. "Jawans are being killed, beheaded by Pakistanis. Why do we need to talk cricket with them?"

Following the ruckus created by Shiv Sena workers on Monday, several news outlets reported that the BCCI-Pakistan Cricket Board meeting was shifted from Mumbai to Delhi. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also offered to host the meeting in Kolkata, ANI reported.

"The talks have not been called off. Mr Manohar and Mr Khan will speak to each other in evening today and tomorrow they are coming to Delhi for another round of talks," Indian Premier League Chairman Rajiv Shukla, who is also a senior official on the board, told the media, PTI reported.

While Shiv Sena senior Sanjay Raut said that his party's actions reflected the mood of the nation, other political parties including the Bhartiya Janata Party condemned the violence.

Earlier in the day, around 40 Sena workers surrounded Manohar in his office at Wakhande stadium, and demanded that he cancel his meeting with Khan. While chanting Vande Matram, they raised slogans against both officials.

"Violence will never be accepted even if protesting is a right," said Union Minister M.A. Naqvi, ANI reported.

IPL Chairman Rajeev Shukla "strongly" condemned the attack on the BCCI.

Earlier this month, Pakistani singer Ghulam Ali’s concerts in Mumbai and Pune were cancelled following Shiv Sena protests.

In another episode of intimidation, workers from the right-wing party dunked columnist Sudheendra Kulkarni with paint because he was hosting former Pakistan foreign minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri's book launch in Mumbai.

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