A retired naval officer was beaten in Mumbai allegedly by activists of Maharashtra's ruling Shiv Sena for forwarding a cartoon mocking Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
Images posted online showed Madan Sharma with wounds on his face and a bloodshot eye. The 65-year-old was allegedly attacked near his home in Kandivalli East, Mumbai.
An FIR (First Information Report) has been registered in the case.
Mr Sharma, in his complaint, said he had forwarded the cartoon to his residential society's WhatsApp group. He later received a call from one Kamlesh Kadam, who asked his name and address. In the afternoon, he was called outside the building and was attacked by a group of men.
Security footage that is being widely shared shows the former officer being thrashed by men, mostly wearing masks.
He is seen walking to the main gate of his apartment building and after a few moments, running back inside with a group of men chasing him. They drag him by his shirt and are seen punching him.
Several BJP leaders, including former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, posted a photo of an injured Madan Sharma.
"Extremely sad and shocking incident. Retired Naval Officer got beaten up by goons because of just a whatsApp forward. Please stop this GundaRaj Uddhav Thackeray ji. We demand strong action and punishment to these goons (sic)," Mr Fadnavis tweeted.
अभिनेत्री कंगना राणावत के कार्यालय की तोड़फोड़ करके अपनी मर्दानगी दिखाने वाले सत्ताधारी शिवसेना ने अब सत्ता के मद में एक बुजुर्ग भूतपूर्व नौसेना अधिकारी मदन शर्मा को मारपीट करते हुए उनकी आंख को जबरदस्त चोट पहुंचाई है। मुख्यमंत्री घरबैठे तानाशाही चला रहे है। pic.twitter.com/qF2NVcIN55— Atul Bhatkhalkar (@BhatkhalkarA) September 11, 2020
A BJP MLA has slammed Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray over the incident.
"The ruling Shiv Sena which showed its masculinity by demolishing the office of actor Kangana Ranaut has now beaten a retired Navy officer and has injured his eye. The Chief Minister is running dictatorship from his house," Atul Bhatkhalkar, BJP MLA from Mumbai's Kandivali East constituency, tweeted in Hindi.
Six people, including Kamlesh Kadam, has been arrested in the case.