MUMBAI, Aug 27: Stepping up his campaign for Marathi signboards, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray has warned shopowners that not putting up the boards by Thursday will invite the wrath of his men. He has also asked Marathi policemen to think before acting against his party workers.
Raj said he had written a letter to policemen asking them to "think twice" and ask their conscience before using lathi-charge against MNS activists involved in the agitation to enforce the Mumbai civic body's deadline stipulating Marathi signboards on city shops by August 28.
"Most of the shopowners have complied with the signboards deadline," said Raj, while addressing MNS workers at Ravindra Natya Mandir in central Mumbai. The two-year-old MNS has had regular confrontations with law-enforcement agencies over its strident anti-north India stance.
"However, there are some shopowners who are deliberately raising the bogey of oppression and coercion by MNS activists," Raj said, naming Viren Shah, owner of a leading garment store in Mumbai.
"Maharashtra's police force, barring a few bhaiyya (north India) IPS officers, is Marathi and is aware of the attempts to destroy Marathi," Raj said.
Despite BMC's directive to put up Marathi signboards on shops, these people defy the directive, don't let out houses to Marathi people, insult Maharashtra and treat Marathi as the language of their servants, the MNS chief said.