Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray on Sunday took out a rally in support of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and spoke against “infiltrators” from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nigeria.
Addressing party workers after their march from Hindu Gymkhana to Azad Maidan, Thackeray said he did not understand why Muslims were protesting against the CAA or NRC. “Who is going to drive out those residing here since birth? If it is not there in the law, then to whom and why do you (Muslims) show your strength?” he asked.
Thackeray said Sunday’s MNS protest was to answer the anti-CAA protests. “I want to warn all those who took out protests (against CAA) that we have responded to their protest with our protest today. Henceforth, it will be stone for stone and sword for sword,” he added.
He said there were not just Pakistan and Bangladesh “infiltrators”, many Nigerians were also staying illegally in Mira Bhayander area.
The MNS chief said he would take up the issue with the Centre as there was “no point” telling the state government. “We need to tell the Union government that just give a free hand to Maharashtra Police for 48 hours. They will bring down the crime rate to zero in Maharashtra,” he added.
However, he also said that if the Centre had brought the CAA legislation to divert the attention from the current economic slowdown, “then it is completely wrong”.
“It is said, about NRC, that there are some Hindus, Dalits and tribals who do not have the documents. They are from this country. Then, why ask documents from them?” he asked.