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Two Cops Suspended For Pune Firing

PTI 12 Aug 2011, 19:41:16 IST

Mumbai/New Delhi, Aug 12: Facing heat on the controversial police firing on farmers near Pune, Maharashtra government today suspended two police officers while the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) issued a notice to Pune Police Commissioner and sought a report.

A 70-member delegation of Opposition members of the Maharashtra Legislature led by Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Eknath Khadse also met Governor K Sankaranarayanan in Mumbai and demanded dismissal of the state government over the police action on Tuesday in which three farmers were killed during violent protests by farmers.

Home Minister R R Patil told the Legislative Council that Police inspector Ashok Patil and sub-inspector Ganesh Mane have been suspended, a day after six constables attached to Pune rural police were suspended for “vandalising private vehicles” during the protest by farmers in Maval region, near Pune.

Acting on a complaint, the NHRC asked the Pune Police Commissioner to file the report within four weeks.  The farmers were protesting against a pipeline project for supply of water from Pavna dam to Pimpri-Chinchwad Township when police opened fire.

The issue has rocked the Maharashtra Legislature since Tuesday with the opposition stalling the proceedings and demanding immediate action against the policemen involved in the firing.

A controversy has erupted over the police firing after a video footage aired showed some policemen apparently aiming their guns and shooting at unarmed protesters.

Video footage of the incident aired by TV channels showed the farmers running away as the policemen fired at them indiscriminately and not in the air.

Eight farmers were also arrested for allegedly attacking policemen and damaging property during the protest, The delegation that met the Governor complained that the law and order situation in the state had gone beyond the control of the state government and demanded its immediate dismissal.

Meanwhile, eight farmers have been arrested for allegedly attacking policemen and damaging property during a protest in Maval near here in which three agriculturists were killed, police said today. Five of them were apprehended yesterday and three today, they said.

The farmers, all from Kale village in Maval taluka, were charged with attacking police personnel and damaging their property during the agitation on Tuesday, they said.  Those arrested have been identified as Maruti Kisan Gardale (30), Shankar Malhari Landge (40), Ravi Kisan Gardale (25), Kiran Khandu Waghmare (21), Pramod Dnyaneshwar Dalvi (23), Shekhar Maruti Dalvi (23), Nitin Maruti Dalvi (27) and Kisan Vishnu Gardale (53).

Opposition parties in Maharashtra today said that they would soon meet President Pratibha Patil to demand dismissal of the state government over police firing in Pune district in which three farmers were killed. They said that they would continue to fight their battle against the state government on the issue of police firing even as the three-week long monsoon session of the state legislature came to an end today.

Leader of opposition Eknath Khadse said various parties would unitedly fight the government on the issue and call on the President soon to seek the dismissal of the government. Incidentally, Khadse along with opposition leader in Council Pandurang Phundkar and group leaders of other opposition parties in the Legislature met the state Governor K Sankaranarayanan this morning to demand dismissal of the Congress-NCP government over police firing.

“There are several loopholes in what home minister R R Patil said about firing started from a private car. Where did the car vanish...home minister says the car fled after firing the first shot. But Patil himself had said that the Expressway was blocked and the traffic was six km long from both sides. How did the car move and what were the police doing,” Shiv Sena leader Subhash Desai asked.

Khadse also asked whether SP Sandeep Karnik had taken permission before ordering firing. “If yes, we want to know who gave the permission. Even though we are not levelling accusation, the needle of suspicion is on Ajit Pawar. It is a well known fact that nothing happens in Pune without his knowledge,” he said.

Three persons were killed and several injured in police firing in Maval near Pune on Tuesday following protests over a pipeline project to supply water to Pimpri-Chinchwad town.

Meanwhile, Khadse opposed the Private Universities bill passed in the legislature saying that there was no provision for reservations for backward classes. We can bring amendment in the next session through a non official bill or urge governor to intervene, he said. PTI