Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray has criticised Mumbai Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh's statement that Ganesh mandals should protect women devotees who come to seek blessings.
"If Ganesh mandals have to protect the women devotees, then why is there a need for police?" Uddhav was quoted as saying in a statement issued on Sunday.
Satyapal Singh had said yesterday that "It is the responsibility of the pandal organisers to ensure that female devotees, who would flock to take blessings of Ganesha, should not be eve-teased or molested. If any incident like this occurs, it would go against pandal organisers." The top police official also said that if pandals failed to ensure safety of women devotees they might not be allowed to organise the event next year.
Uddhav said such circulars were issued only during the festivals of a particular community and not on others.
"If police are not able to protect women, then Shiv Sena has been taking the responsibility to protect women and will continue to do so," the Sena leader asserted.