MUMBAI: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday condemned the attack on retired Indian Navy officer by Shiv Sainiks in Mumbai and called up the victim to wish him a speedy recovery.

Rajnath called up retired Chief Petty Officer Madan Sharma, 65, to enquire after his health in the wake of Friday’s attack even as the four accused arrested in the case were bailed out on Saturday.

“Spoke to retired naval officer, Shri Madan Sharma who was attacked by hooligans in Mumbai and enquired about his health. Such attacks on Ex-Servicemen is completely unacceptable and deplorable. I wish Madanji a speedy recovery,” Singh tweeted.

Following Sharma’s complaint, the Samata Nagar police late on Friday arrested four accused — Shiv Sena Shakha Pramukh Kamlesh Kadam and his accomplices Sanjay Manjare, Rakesh Belvekar, and Pratap Soond.

Additional Commissioner of Police (North) Dilip Sawant said that they were booked on various charges, including unlawful assembly and rioting.

Navy veteran seeks apology from Uddhav

The retired Navy officer on Saturday demanded the Uddav to apologise to him and the country. The retired officer also said Thackeray should quit his post if he was unable to uphold law and order in the state.

Speaking to reporters, Sharma said, “If something happens to me or my family, I will blame Uddhav Thackeray.”

Thackeray should quit if he cannot handle the law and order situation in the state, Sharma added.

Accused get bail

The six accused, who were charged under section 325 of the Indian Penal Code for causing grievous hurt as well as rioting sections, were given bail on Saturday.

Joint commissioner of police (law and order) Vishwas Nangre Patil had refuted allegations of political interference and said the accused were given bail due to the prevailing COVID-19 situation.

Attack for sharing cartoon on Uddhav

The accused had pounced on Sharma outside his residence in Lokhandwala complex on Friday afternoon after he forwarded a cartoon on a WhatsApp Group of his society, depicting Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray prostrating before the pictures of Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar.

A CCTV clip of the society posted by local Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Atul Bhatkalkar showed the attackers chasing Sharma, dragging him by the collar, pulling his shirt, and attacking him while society security personnel did not intervene.

Sharma apparently escaped serious injuries but ended up with black and swollen eyes. He later lodged a police complaint, even as several BJP leaders slammed the Maha Vikas Aghadi government.

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