Wading into the controversy over the release of Bollywood director-producer Karan Johar's upcoming film, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, former Supreme Court judge Justice Markandey Katju labelled the Maharashtra Navanirman Sena (MNS) as a bunch of thugs.
The MNS has been threatening to ban the film in Maharashtra as its cast includes the Pakistani actor, Fawad Khan.
In a series of tweets on Wednesday, Katju challenged MNS workers to face him instead of harassing helpless artists.
MNS people are goondas who have drunk the salt water of the Arabian Sea. I am an Allahabadi goonda, who has drunk the water of the Sangam— Markandey Katju (@mkatju) October 19, 2016
. So instead of showing your bravery on those helpless artists, come have a dangal with me, and let the world see who is a bigger goonda— Markandey Katju (@mkatju) October 19, 2016
On being offered security by the Uttar Pradesh police, Katju had this to say in a Facebook post:
Referring to MNS as a one MLA party, he also reportedly tweeted, "One MLA party, MNS, not learning their lessons. With threats of vandalism, etc. they are certain to be a zero-MLA party next elections."
Reacting to Katju's criticism, MNS vice-president Vageesh Saraswat said, "At least we have one MLA... On what basis is he talking like this."
The former judge is known for being outspoken and has been issued a notice for making a series of controversial statements on the communally sensitive issue of cow slaughter and beef.
Some Bollywood artists such as Anurag Kashyap, Alia Bhatt and Renuka Shahane have also spoken out in support of Johar.
Also on HuffPost India.