A delegation of the Opposition members of the Maharashtra legislature met Governor K. Sankaranarayanan here on Friday and demanded the dismissal of the State government, claiming a complete breakdown of law and order.
The 70-member delegation led by Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Eknath Khadse told the Governor that the law and order situation in the State had “gone out of control,” referring to the “rising incidents of bomb blasts, Naxalism, murder, rape, gang rivalry, cyber crime and police firing.”
A memorandum presented said police had resorted to firing at three places in the State on July 25, August 3 and 9 at Jalna-Ambad highway, at Mowad, near Nagpur and at Mawal, near Pune resulting in the death of innocent and unarmed people. Apart from that, the government also used force to suppress the agitation at Jaitapur in April.
It has been almost a month since the July 13 triple blasts and the culprits have not been caught, Mr. Khadse told the media. He said Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and Home Minister R.R. Patil almost defended the police shooting down people fleeing the Mumbai-Pune Expressway.
Mr. Khadse also added that one of the protesters was killed by the police in an “encounter,” which has been denied by the police. He demanded the suspension of the Pune Rural Superintendent of Police Sandip Karnik for the firing. He said TV grabs showed Mr. Karnik speaking to someone from his mobile phone before the firing, and his call records must be accessed and investigated to find out whom he had called. The Opposition said there was complete failure on the part of the government to maintain law and order in the State and demanded that immediate action be taken to dismiss the government.
Mr. Subhash Desai of the Shiv Sena said that if the government was going to suppress all democratic protests using violence, it was setting a dangerous trend. In addition, the Home Minister had misled the Assembly saying the firing near Pune was started off by someone in a private car. The government was trying to divert attention from the real issues at hand including police excess and the killing of farmers.
The Governor told the delegation that he would discuss all the issues raised, with Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan. Later, when asked about the meeting, Mr. Chavan said he met the Governor regularly and updated him on events in the State and they had to discuss various issues including some upcoming events.