HC raps govt for sluggish Maval police firing prob

The Bombay HC lashed out at the Maha govt for dragging its feet on initiating action against erring police officers.

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Wednesday lashed
out at the Maharashtra government for dragging its feet on
initiating action against erring police officers whose firing
on agitators at Maval in Pune district resulted into the death
of a farmer in August 2011.

A division bench of Justices P B Majmudar and R D Dhanuka
observed that prima facie it appears to be a case of "homicidal murder".

The judges directed the government to file an affidavit
explaining whether a departmental inquiry has been initiated
against the erring police officers who have been named in the

The farmers had gathered to oppose the state government`s
decision of laying a closed pipeline to supply water from
Pavna dam to the industrial town of Pimpri-Chinchwad.
The agitators claimed that due to the closed pipeline
they would not get water for their crops.

One farmer was killed when police opened fire to disperse
the protesters on Mumbai-Pune express way on August 9 last

The court, while hearing a PIL filed by social activists
seeking inquiry by an independent agency into the firing
incident, directed the police to explain whether proper
protocol was followed before opening fire on the agitating

"Firing has to be done in the air first, in order to
disperse the crowd; then, on leg....never on the chest. Was
lathicharge done or tear gas used before opening fire?"
Justice Majmudar questioned.

The court further observed that the investigation into
the incident was sluggish. "The investigation is going on at
snail`s pace in a serious matter like this."

Asking the government to act rapidly to "restore public confidence", the court observed that the Secretary of the Home Department should take care of such situations.

The government has to file its affidavit by March 26 and the matter has been posted for hearing on March 27.


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