The death threat letter to Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar has stormed state politics. The Mayor has been provided with security after she received a death threat letter from an anonymous sender on Friday.
Maharashtra home minister Dilip Walse Patil told Afternoon Voice, “The search operation is on after Kishori Tai the Mumbai Mayor received a threat letter; we have provided her security. Whosoever is found to be the offender would be punished severely.”
Taking a jibe at Maha Vikas Aghadi, BJP MLA Ram Kadam said, “Providing Police security to Mayor in the Shiv Sena administration is a warning to the law-and-order situation in the state. By seeking security Mumbai Mayor silently accepts the shrunken law and order situation in the state. In this case, proper investigation is needed, the home department should speed up an inquiry and bring out the truth rather than playing politics.”
The letter, which also threatened to kill her family members, Kishori Pednekar, who is a leader of the ruling Shiv Sena, filed a complaint with Byculla Police station on Friday. The Mumbai mayor said the letter was full of vulgar language. A first information report (FIR) has been registered against an unidentified person under sections 506 (2) and 509 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and teams have been sent to Uran, Kharghar and Panvel in Navi Mumbai and Raigad as part of the probe.
Earlier on Wednesday, Pednekar approached the Mumbai police alleging harassment by a BJP leader Ashish Shelar. Pednekar lodged her complaint against Shelar at the Marine Drive police alleging that Shelar used objectionable language. Shelar last week criticized the mayor for her alleged delayed response in reaching out to the victims of a cylinder blast in Worli. Shelar targeted her saying whether Pednekar had been “sleeping for 72 hours”. His use of the word “sleeping” drew a sharp rebuke from the ruling parties.
Ashish Shelar told Afternoon Voice, “First of all I have not attributed my expressions to any individual. My question was to the government, are they sleeping? Means why the government is inactive and closed its eyes on people’s problems? Ruling party leaders twisted my statements to create political unrest.”
Veteran Journalist Rajiv Bajaj said, “In all my years in Mumbai, from 1993 as Editor of The Daily, later President of “In Time news” Mumbai, Editor in Chief of Sahara Samay. I have never heard of anyone daring to threaten a Shiv Sena Mayor (even a Minister or leader). If this is true it shows the time, we live in. A Mayor of Shiv Sena to receive a threat letter is a reflection of how Balasaheb’s party seems to have changed. And that is something Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray needs to introspect on.”
We spoke to Yamini Jadhav, MLA from Byculla constituency, “Law and Order of the state are in place. If the letter would have been ignored by the police officials, then we could have said that the law and order are displaced in the state. We could also blame the postal services for this. Since the letter was delivered by them. No one should dare do this again and that’s the reason the Mayor has come in front of the media. She is the mayor of Mumbai, Be it a common woman or even a prostitute for that matter. Nobody has the right to comment or write something like.”
“Some people have a problematic mindset and we can’t go about finding and fixing them all. We should not pay heed to such things. Kishori Tai as well as the women’s front is not affected by this. We still stand strong. We all stand with her. And this is nothing by which she will be afraid,” Jadhav further said.
Sheetal Mhatre, a Shiv Sena corporator from Dahisar said, “If their ministers are speaking such language about the Mayor, then there’s nothing new in it if their corporators also speak such things about her. This must be their culture and they are just following it. The ministers of other parties are speaking such language, then if their corporators will send such letters, then it will be nothing amusing for us. The opposition parties need to know their levels. They can’t do anything. They should understand what language to use for a woman. Opposition was always present, and arguments were always made in a respectful manner. No female leader was disrespected ever. The quality of politics is degrading and surely some measures will have to be taken. Even if Balasaheb is not present, his blessings are always with us. And we will properly handle and answer the concerned person.”
Shital Kardekar a Senior Journalist said, “Shiv Sena is in Power in state and city. If they take to the streets, that’s the wrong use of power. The situation will be nothing different than Bengal. Shiv Sena is doing responsible governance. The police have registered FIR and started investigating. Had Shiv Sena been in the opposition we all know how aggressive the reaction would be. To give a threat of life to a lady; the First Citizen of Mumbai is not right anyway. This is ill and internal politics within BJP. Some leaders are targeting Adv Ashish Shelar.”
Rupal Mistry said, “I am a proud Mumbaikar and feel very safe even today. Do not underestimate Shiv Sena or CM of Maharashtra, this is a dangerous trend started by BJP. They thought one letter to the mayor can indulge Shiv Sena in violence and somehow create unrest and demand for presidential rule, but that is not going to happen. Uddhav is responsible CM and he has to act vice.”
Radha Shere, a social activist says, “What kind of double standards are these? Shiv Sena leader calling a woman HaramKhor has not offended any MVA leader including Kishori Pednekar, who also called her rakshas (demon), today crying foul.” Shiv Sena leaders are accused of Murders and abetting suicide but no offence to womanhood?
Navya Singh, a Transgender model said, “When Balasaheb was alive, Mumbaikar used to feel safe. The crime rate was low and people were guarded on the shakha level. Look at the present time under his Son’s leadership Shiv Sena’s Mayor who is supposed to be the first citizen of Mumbai feeling threatened and living with police security.”