Maratha quota violence: NCP's Anil Deshmukh claims state home ministry ordered lathi-charge; Fadnavis apologises | Mint
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Business News/ Politics / News/  Maratha quota violence: NCP's Anil Deshmukh claims state home ministry ordered lathi-charge; Fadnavis apologises
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Maratha quota violence: NCP's Anil Deshmukh claims state home ministry ordered lathi-charge; Fadnavis apologises

NCP leader Anil Deshmukh claimed that the order to lathi-charge protesters came from state home ministry, headed by Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis. Deshmukh's claim echoed Sharad Pawar's statement that lathi charge happened after call from ‘higher-ups’.

NCP leader Anil Deshmukh Premium
NCP leader Anil Deshmukh

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) senior leader Anil Deshmukh on Monday reiterated fellow NCP leader Sharad Pawar's claim that the order to lathi-charge on protesters seeking Maratha Quota Reservation came from ‘higher-ups’. Deshmukh claimed police lathi-charged protesters in Jalna district after a phone call was made from the Maharashtra home ministry.

Notably, the Maharashtra state Home Ministry is headed by Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis

Anil Deshmukh had been appointed Home Minister of Maharashtra when the MVA alliance of NCP, Shiv sena and Congress led by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray came to power in November 2019.

The former state home minister also demanded an enquiry by a retired judge to find out who called up the Jalna district superintendent of police and ordered him to lathi-charge the protesters.

Police baton charged and lobbed tear gas shells to disperse a violent mob in Antarwali Sarathi village in Jalna district on Friday after protesters allegedly refused to let authorities shift a man on hunger strike for Maratha quota to hospital.

Several persons. including 40 police personnel, were injured and more than 15 state transport buses were set ablaze in violence.

Deshmukh, said the "inhuman" police action on protesters last week was "very unfortunate".

"I had served as home minister of Maharashtra. As per my information, Maratha protestors (in Jalna district) were lathi-charged after a phone call was made from the home ministry. Police officials cannot take such action without the orders of senior officers," Deshmukh claimed while speaking to reporters in Nagpur.

He said an enquiry by a retired judge into who had made the phone call would fix the responsibility.

As the police action created a huge row, the senior police officer in Jalna was made a scapegoat and sent on forced leave, Deshmukh said.

Meanwhile Maharashtra Deputy  CM Devendra Fadnavis on Monday said, "Lathicharge by Police was not right... I am apologising on behalf of the Government. CM has said that the action will be taken against those who are responsible for it," at the Maratha Reservation meeting chaired by CM Shinde.

A day before, Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde announced that Jalna district superintendent of police, Tushar Doshi, was sent on compulsory leave and ADGP (law and order) Sanjay Saxena would probe the lathi-charge incident.

He had also said a judicial probe would be conducted if required.

Addressing a state function in Buldhana, Shinde said two DYSP-rank officers were transferred out of Jalna district.

(With inputs from PTI)

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Published: 04 Sep 2023, 04:15 PM IST
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