Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Wednesday said the
agitators who were protesting against construction of water
pipeline in Maval area had created a riot-like situation,
which led to the police firing last August, in which three
persons were killed.
The division bench of Justices S A Bobade and Mridula
Bhatkar was hearing a bunch of public interest litigations
seeking CBI or CID inquiry into the incident.
"It is not like that villagers did nothing. It was a riot
situation. There is no doubt about that. The only question
that needs to be answered is how the police should have
handled the situation," Justice Bobade said.
A mob of villagers from the area gathered on Pune-Mumbai
expressway on August 9, to oppose the government`s decision to
lay a pipeline to supply water from Pavna dam to Pimpri-
Chinchwad township near Pune.
Protesters` grievance was that after the construction of
pipeline, the local farmers would lose out on water from the
existing open canal. But the protest turned violent and this
led to the police firing.
The petitioners have sought registration of FIR
against senior police officer Sandeep Karnik, who was leading
the police team, and was allegedly the first one to open fire.
Presently, FIRs have been registered against two junior
police officers and six constables.
Senior counsel Ashutosh Kumbhkoni, appearing for
Maharashtra government, said local police were investigating
the incident, and a progress report had been submitted to the
Kumbhkoni requested the Court to watch the video footage
of the incident, because, according to the government, the
police had given sufficient warning to protesters.
Adjourning the matter for two weeks, the court said it
would view all the video footage of the incident.