Questions have been raised over the intelligence failure of Mumbai police as it failed to anticipate the possible attack on the house of Nationalist congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar.
From deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar to Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut expressed discontent over the inability of Mumbai police to stop the attack. The home department is with the NCP and senior leader, one of the most trusted aides of Mr Pawar, Dilip Walse-Patil, is home minister.
When asked about objectionable language used by Advocate Gunaratna Sadavarte for last six months and no action by Mumbai police, Mr Raut sarcastically termed it as the greatest example of tolerance. “We always say that this much of patience or tolerance isn’t advisable. Strict action under law should be used. Such sloppy governance would never work. We faced the consequences of it yesterday,” said Mr Raut in a direct attack on Mr Walse-Patil.
This is the second time in two weeks when Mr Walse-Patil has come under attack. Previously, he was accused of going soft on Bharatiya Janata Party leaders facing cases. It was Mr Raut who had led the attack, even then. The Sena leader was miffed at state home department for not acting on the complaint against officials of Enforcement Directorate who he accused of blackmailing and extortion.
State’s deputy CM Ajit Pawar too was unhappy over the intelligence failure of Mumbai police. “This attack is a failure of police system. How did media know about the attack and the police were clueless? It is also inexplicable as workers who celebrated court verdict a day ago protested a day after,” said Mr Pawar. The home department has increased the security outside Mr Pawar’s house and also that of Lok Sabh MP and his daughter Supriya Sule’s who had come out to face the protesters on Friday.
Meanwhile, a magistrate court on Saturday sent advocate Gunaratna Sadavarte to police custody till April 11 and 109 others to judicial custody. Special public prosecutor Pradeep Gharat said several policemen were injured in the protests and sought to determine the mastermind behind the conspiracy. Mumbai police on April 8 had detained Mr Sadavarte for being the forefront of the State transport employee’s agitation and had arrested over 100 others for protesting outside Mr Pawar’s residence. The FIR is booked under sections 142 (being member of unlawful assembly), 145 (joining or continuing in unlawful assembly, knowing it has been commanded to disperse), 149 (every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty), 333 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt to deter public servant from his duty) 334 (voluntarily causing hurt on provocation).
The state home minister who is under fire held a meeting with senior police officials on Saturday. He also met Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and NCP president. He has already ordered an inquiry in to the intelligence failure.
He appealed to the striking employees to maintain peace and follow the Bombay High Court order as per which they have been asked to rejoin duties by April 22. On Saturday morning, the police asked employees to vacate Azad Maidan where they have been protesting for last five months and then were taken to CSMT railway station. As the employees refused to move, they began sit in protest inside the station.