Two Maharashtra legislators booked for assaulting a cop in the Assembly premises have been sent to 14-day judicial custody even as the proceedings of both houses of the legislature came to a grinding halt yet again with members clamouring for the suspension of two crime branch officers who allegedly tried to apprehend some of the five suspended MLAs accused of beating the policeman.
Kshitij Thakur (Bahujan Vikas Aghadi) and Ram Kadam (Maharashtra Navnirman Sena), who have been booked for assaulting assistant police inspector Sachin Suryawanshi inside the legislature complex on Tuesday, will have to be in custody for at least three more days after a court on Friday reserved its order on their bail plea till Monday.
Additional Metropolitan Magistrate U.M. Padwad remanded the duo to judicial custody till April 5. They will be lodged in the Arthur Road Jail till then.
The Marine Drive police registered cases against Mr. Thakur, Mr. Kadam and three other legislators — Jaykumar Rawal (BJP), Rajan Salvi (Shiv Sena) and Pradeep Jaiswal (Independent) — under Sections 143 (unlawful assembly), 341 (wrongful restraint), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace), 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt) and 506 (ii) (criminal intimidation) of the IPC.
Meanwhile, both the upper and lower houses saw early adjournments as legislators in both houses pressed for the immediate suspension of the two officers who allegedly entered the Vidhan Bhavan without authorisation. The legislators, led by Girish Bapat of the BJP, also demanded that the suspension of the five be revoked immediately.
Mr. Bapat and other MLAs from the ruling and opposition parties vehemently objected to the clamping of section 353 (obstructing a public servant from conducting his duties) on Mr. Thakur and Mr. Kadam, by positing that Mr. Suryawanshi was not on duty on Tuesday (the day of his assault) and hence it was wrong to book them under that section.
Irate members demanded that the CCTV footage detailing the assault on Mr. Suryawanshi be rechecked to see whether some of the suspended legislators were indeed guilty or not.Meanwhile, proceedings in the upper house were disrupted amid pandemonium in which ruling and opposition party leaders led by NCP leader Hemant Takle clamoured for the immediate suspension of Mr. Suryawanshi. Incidentally, the deadlock in both the houses had compelled Home Minister R.R. Patil to announce the suspension of one of the officers in the upper house on Thursday.