Sunday, November 10, 2013

Impostors, not MNS men, demanding money from film and TV associations: Raj Thackeray

MUMBAI: Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray issued a statement on Sunday, asking members of all film and television associations to be wary of imposters harassing them on the pretext of hailing from his party.

Thackeray said in his statement that he had been receiving complaints of harassment from various film and TV associations lately. He added that in most instances, the people involved did not belong to the MNS and were imposters.

Thackeray said that he was an ardent film viewer and had several close friends in the Indian film industry. \"My party or I do not stand for any kind of mindless behaviour,\" he said. Thackeray added that he may have taken a stand on certain issues in the past, such as the city of Mumbai being referred to as \'Bombay.\' He would continue to take a stand for issues where he felt that the pride of the state was being compromised, he said.

He encouraged film and TV associations to get in touch with his personal assistant, if any MNS member approached them with a monetary demand. But he also issued a warning that hiring of foreign actors for shoots had to be done only after adhering to all the laws concerned.

Thackeray\'s statement comes days after a member of the MNS film wing, Vilas Sudhrik, attempted suicide by consuming 30 painkillers on a street in Dindoshi. Sudhrik had penned a suicide note addressed to Thackeray.

On October 27, a group of 25 to 30 members of the MNS film wing were accused of barging into Filmalaya studio in Andheri where businessman Raj Kundra\'s event, Super Fight League, was on. The group was led by Ghanshyam Parab and included Sudhrik. The group was accused of molestation and extortion at the venue. Bouncers struck back at them. Some time after the police arrived to take stock, another MNS mob of 50 barged in and vandalized the studio \"in retaliation\".

\"Sudhrik was arrested and put behind bars on charges of molestation and extortion,\" Nitin Dalvi, a friend and member of the MNS Mathadi Kamgaar Sena, said. \"The charges upset him as he had gone to the studio only to inquire if foreign artistes had been hired for the event. He was further taken aback when nobody from the party visited him or even made a call to him. After being released on bail, he stayed indoors and started keeping quiet.\"

Sudhrik survived the suicide attempt and is out of danger.
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