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VHP comes out in support of tainted cop

Vijay Singh in Mumbai | March 18, 2004 22:50 IST

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad on Thursday came out in support of Mumbai police Assistant Inspector Sachin Vaze, who was arrested in connection with the alleged custodial death of Sayed Khwaja Yunus, an accused in the Ghatkopar bomb blast case.

VHP regional (Maharashtra, Goa) secretary Vyankatesh Abdeo, Maharashtra president Ashok Chowgule and Mumbai unit secretary Arun Handa visited Vaze's residence in Thane and met his wife Mohini.

They told her that they would offer all financial and legal help to Vaze.

"Sachin Vaze is a great police official who risked his life fighting terrorists and gangsters," Abdeo said. "Instead of appreciating Vaze for his good services, the government is planning to book him under the Prevention of Terrorism Act. We oppose this."

"I am very happy that VHP activists are visiting me in my bad times," Mohini said.

The meeting is significant as it comes weeks before the general election.

The VHP hopes raise the issue in order to mobilise votes for the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Abdeo admitted as much when he said, "We have many issues definitely we will include this also in our agenda."

Among the other issues he said was the allotment of land to the Afzal Khan Memorial Trust in Pratapgarh, Maharashtra. "Khan was killed by the great Maratha leader Shivaji," he said.

Recently, VHP general-secretary Pravin Togadia offered all help to Vaze after branding him a hero.

Earlier, the Shiv Sena had extended support to former Mumbai police commissioner Ram Deo Tyagi, who was charged with killing persons of particular community during the 1992-93 riots.

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