New Delhi: Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Monday triggered a major controversy by comparing Sunday’s violence at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) to the November 26, 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai, commonly referred to as 26/11.

Last month too, he had caused a massive uproar by comparing Delhi Police’s crackdown at the capital’s Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) University, outside which an anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protest had turned violent, to the Jallianwala Bagh massacre.

On Monday, while speaking to reporters, the Chief Minister, who is also the chief of the Shiv Sena, said, “Why did they wear masks. They were cowards. I was watching it on TV and it reminded of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack. I will not tolerate such attacks in Maharashtra.”

“There is an atmosphere of fear among the students in the country, we all need to come together and instil confidence in them,” he added.

In the wake of the violence, a picture of one of the masked attackers has gone viral on social media, with many comparing the picture to the now-iconic image of 26/11 terrorist Ajmal Kasab wielding a gun at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) station.

In a related development, Sena leader and Maharashtra Tourism Minister Aaditya Thackeray, who is the son of the Chief Minister, too, condemned the incident. Demanding stern action against the goons, he tweeted, “The violence and brutality faced by students, while protesting, is worrisome. Be it Jamia, be it JNU, students mustn’t face brutal force! Let them be.”