Saamana cartoon on Maratha reservation issue provokes attacks

Unidentified persons allegedly belonging to the Sambhaji Brigade pelted stones at the Saamana printing press in Navi Mumbai while some other persons threw ink outside the Thane office of the Shiv Sena mouthpiece on Tuesday, an official said here.

IANS| Last Updated: Sep 27, 2016, 19:06 PM IST

Thane: Unidentified persons allegedly belonging to the Sambhaji Brigade pelted stones at the Saamana printing press in Navi Mumbai while some other persons threw ink outside the Thane office of the Shiv Sena mouthpiece on Tuesday, an official said here.

The provocation for the attacks comes from a cartoon published in the Saamana on Sunday, poking fun at the ongoing statewide stir by Marathas seeking reservation and other issues, according to officials.

Navi Mumbai Police Commissioner Hemant Nagrale said some persons attacked the Marathi publication's offices in Saanpada suburb with stgones, shattering two or three glass windows on the outer wall.

"Investigations will be conducted and appropriate action taken against the accused," Nagrale told media persons.

In adjoining Thane town, some persons threw ink outside the office of Saamana, the mouthpiece of the Shiv Sena, a BJP ally in both the central and Maharashtra governments.

A letter thrown by suspected attackers in Saanpada, purportedly on a letterhead of the Sambhaji Brigade, Mumbai office, claimed responsibility for the attack, though an official confirmation is awaited.

The Maratha community has taken strong objection to what it alleged were snide comments made in the Saamana cartoon.

In the past fortnight, nearly a score of huge, peaceful marches by the Maratha community, with at least one in Pune attracting over a million participants, have stirred the political cauldron over reservation in Maharashtra.

The police have beefed up security at the head offices of Saamana and its sister publication and Hindi daily Dopahar ka Saamana in Dadar and other branch offices in the state following the attacks.