MUMBAI: The Shiv Sena mouthpiece on Wednesday welcomed Sri Lankan government's decision to ban burqa and masks on grounds of national security and asked the Narendra Modi-led regime to follow suit.
A senior Sena leader, however, said the editorial was not the official stand of the party.
In the editorial in party mouthpiece Saamana, the Sena asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to follow Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisenas footsteps and ban burqas and other face-covering garments in India considering the threat it poses to the nations security.
The Sena mouthpiece said, "We welcome the decision by the Sri Lankan president. If this can happen in Ravana's Lanka, when will it happen in Ram's Ayodhya," it said.
The editorial said even France, New Zealand, Australia and England have banned burqa. "Why is India lagging behind," it asked.
The editorial said this task (of banning burqa) is as gutsy as the surgical strikes.
"Face masks can prove detrimental in identifying people and the ban was necessary under emergency situation. The Sri Lankan president has shown courage. Modi should follow suit," the editorial said.
Responding to the editorial, AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi hit out at the Sena saying that the fight against terrorism does not entail the dress, but the mindset.
Owaisi said the editorial comes under paid news category and violates the model code of conduct enforced by the Election Commission. The poll body must take note of the matter, he added.
Meanwhile, senior Sena leader and MLC Neelam Gorhe said the editorial was not the official stand of the party.
"Shiv Sena's stand is decided in the meeting of party leaders and a stamp of approval is given by party president Uddhav Thackeray. The stand in today's editorial has not come from party discussion nor instructions of Uddhav Thackeray.
"It could be an individual's view...it is not the official stand of Shiv Sena," she said in a statement.