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Maharashtra monsoon session ends amid din over Pune firing

August 12, 2011 16:47 IST
The three-week monsoon session of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly ended on Friday on a stormy note with Opposition targeting the government on the police firing in Pune district, saying its version was contradictory to what the police had to say about the incident.

The Lower House witnessed three adjournments as the Opposition members stepped up their attack on the government and accused it of killing innocent people.

Leader of Opposition Eknath Khadse, Shiv Sena leader Subhash Desai, Bala Nandgaonkar of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena said Pune rural Superintendent of Police Sandeep Karnik had called a press conference to justify the police action while Home Minister R R Patil had suspended six constables who had damaged vehicles of the protestors.

Desai wondered how could the local SP talk directly to the media when the Legislature was on. Khadse wanted to know if Karnik had spoken to any minister before ordering firing.  

Showing photographs pertaining to the firing site, Nandgaonkar said the version of the government and the police differ vastly. "Protestor Moreshwar Sathe did not run away from the police van as claimed by the police, but was killed. Hence, cases should filed against R R Patil and Pune Guardian Minister Ajit Pawar under section 302 of IPC," he said.

Peasants Workers Party leader Ganpatrao Deshmukh said it was for the first time that the police had damaged public property. However, the government is silent on action against those who ordered firing, which claimed three lives. They said video footage on how Sathe was killed was contradictory to the police version. Khadse said if Sathe was seen in the police van, doubts arise on how he died.

The Opposition said the police were misleading on what actually happened. Earlier, Opposition members took out a funeral procession of the government with Ram Kadam of MNS enacting to be the body.

The procession came into the House when it was adjourned during the Question Hour. Ram Kadam lay in the well surrounded by other members of Legislative Assembly who squatted around him.

Amid pandemonium as Opposition members climbed the podium and shouted slogans standing near the Speaker's table, the Chair rushed through the business of laying of papers.

After the House re-assembled for the third time, Speaker adjourned the House.

Friday was the last day of the 15-day session. The winter session will commence in Nagpur from December 12.
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