MUMBAI: A day after MSRTC (Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation) workers staged a protest in front of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar’s Mumbai residence, Silver Oak and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Saturday pointed out the failure of police surveillance. The media knew about it.
A meeting chaired by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray directed Mumbai Police Commissioner Sanjay Pandey to conduct an inquiry into the incident and submit a report.
It is the duty of the Mumbai police to gather intelligence, but they have failed and it is an irreversible fact, said the Deputy CM. “There are television cameras along with the protesting workers, which means the media knows it, so why not the police?” The senior police officer was asked to investigate the matter and find the mastermind.
Meanwhile, about 70 MSRTC employees staged a sit-in at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) on Saturday morning after police demanded the evacuation of Azad Maidan.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday condemned the incident. “I condemn the attack on the residence of Sharad Pawar @PawarSpeaks, one of the most senior figures in India and welcome @CMOMaharashtra’s statement to take stern action against the perpetrators,” she tweeted.
Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari also criticized the protest and hoped that the state government would ensure that such incidents are not repeated. “The Chief Minister [Uddhav Thackeray] Is handling the matter. He is a wise man. Pawar himself is a respected leader. No one would approve of such an event.
Home Minister Dilip Walse Patil, who acknowledged the security lapses, said the responsibility would be rectified. “There are security vulnerabilities and they will be investigated,” he said. He said the issue was discussed with the chief minister at a meeting here today and the state government had increased security for the Pawar family.
Walsey Patil and Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Routh met senior Pawar at his residence on Saturday. “Pawar will go on his scheduled tour [to Amravati] Sunday, ”said the Home Minister.
However, the NCP chief on Saturday canceled his visit to Satara to attend the Maharashtra Kesari Wrestling Tournament.
While Routh pointed the finger at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for Friday’s incident, the BJP demanded an investigation into the intelligence failure.
The Sena leader said that lawyer Gunaratne Sadhavarte, who was arrested for inciting MSRTC employees, was getting all the financial help from the BJP.
“It’s not a protest, it’s an attack,” Routh said. [financial] Support from the BJP. Whose house is he staying in? He is providing financial assistance to speak out against it [chief minister] Uddhav Thackeray and Sharad Pawar. Yesterday’s attack was part of that. ”
Routh said the BJP seems to have a hand behind some BJP leaders who are supporting the incident.
After meeting Pawar, Routh met the Chief Minister at his official residence Varsha.
Opposition leader Devendra Fadnavis said, “Such attacks are not acceptable, but an important question is whether the media is aware of their plan.” They got messages [about a protest at Pawar’s residence] Around 2.30pm. The protesters planned the agitation and the police had no information. This is a major failure of the police and intelligence and requires an investigation. We saw those videos [of protest] And they are terrible. ”
NCP activists staged protests across the state condemning Friday’s incident. Pawar demanded increased security.
Transport Minister Anil Parab has demanded that the striking MSRTC employees return to work and maintain law and order. The state government will not sit idly by if anyone tries to disrupt the peace. The strike continues peacefully so far despite provocative statements by leaders. Workers must resume work and liberate rural people from inconvenience … The state government will take strict action if workers are provoked.
The Deputy Chief Minister said, “The CM, myself and the Transport Minister are appealing for the resumption of the striking MSRTC employees. The cases against them were also withdrawn. Although MSRTC buses do not run during lockdown, the state is distributing ⁇From 250 ⁇300 crore every month to pay their salaries.
On Friday, hundreds of MSRTC employees gathered outside Pawar’s residence and chanted slogans against him, saying he had done nothing to meet their demands. They even threw shoes and slippers at the house. Workers are demanding that the loss-making MSRTC merge their services with the government.
Sit initiation began at CSMT at 5 a.m. Saturday. MSRTC workers first occupied the suburban Concourse area. They asked him to go out but they refused.
Railway Protection Force and Government Railway Police (GRP) personnel have been called, ”said a Central Railway official.
Protesters finally dispersed from the suburban concourse at 10.30am. Later, about 25 of them gathered near the outstation train terminus and on platform number 18. The officer said they evacuated the area after the GRP was called again.
MSRTC employees from across Maharashtra arrived in the city last week to show their support for their colleagues protesting at Azad Maidan.
(With Arosa Ahmed Inputs)