Mumbai: The BJP-Shiv Sena government in Maharashtra will withdraw police cases lodged in the over last nine years against people who took part in various political or social agitations in the state.
A decision to this effect was taken by the cabinet which met today under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
"The previous (Congress-NCP) government had on July 7, 2010 withdrawn cases against people who participated in social and political agitations up to May 1, 2005. It has now been decided that such cases up to November 1, 2014, too, will be withdrawn," an official from the Home Department said.
Shiv Sena and BJP were in the opposition during the period covered by today's decision, which evoked a mixed reaction among political parties.
Mumbai BJP President Ashish Shelar welcomed the government's move and said this will provide relief to those who had agitated for the Indu Mills land in Mumbai for a memorial to Dalit icon B R Ambekar.
Opposition NCP dismissed the move as just a "lollipop" shown to the people and maintained that the last word in such cases rests with courts.
"There is a Supreme Court order which clearly says that though a state government has the right to withdraw cases against protesters, the final decision can be taken only by a court. Hence, this decision means nothing unless a court rules in the government's favour. The government is only showing a lollipop to the people," NCP leader Nawab Malik said.