Shantaram black-faced !

| 18 August 1998 23:49 IST

Goa Pradesh Congress chief Shantaram Naik's face was painted black in a city restaurant yesterday by a group of unknown persons in protest of his public statement against prime minister Atel Bihar Vajpayee.

Speaking at a Quit India commemoration function last week, Naik had stated that it is a matter of regret that heirs of those who killed Mahatma Gandhi would unfurl the national flag at the red fort on the independence day this year.

While his statement is being condemned by the vernacular media here, a group of youth moved into action by catching him at the city restaurant and roughed him up while painting his face and shirt with black paint.

"Do you want Gandhi ? Take this", said the angry youth, claimed Naik. Former chief minister Pratapsing Rane also condemned the action at the legislature party meeting. Naik now claims that he had never named Vajpayee while making the statement.

The Congress however has blamed the new coalition government led by Dr Wilfred de Souza, which is also supported by the BJP, for a total collapse of the law and order situation and has demanded stern action against the miscreants.

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