Pune firing: Two cops suspended

Mumbai/New Delhi: Facing heat on the controversial police firing on farmers near Pune, Maharashtra government on Friday 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.