The arrest of NCP MP Padmasinh Patil in the Pawanraje Nimbalkar murder case today rocked Maharashtra Legislature with both the Houses being adjourned amid noisy scenes as Opposition accused the state government of 'shielding' the senior leader.
In the State Assembly, Leader of Opposition Ramdas Kadam demanded resignation of Home Minister Jayant Patil on the issue, alleging that the government had dragged its feet in the case.
There were noisy scenes in the Lower House, with Sena-BJP members shouting slogans against the Congress-NCP government for 'shielding' Padmasinh Patil.
The Legislative Council witnessed noisy scenes and was adjourned six times as Sena-BJP members gheraoed Deputy Chairman of the House Vasant Davkahre, seeking clarification from the Government.
Leader of Opposition in Council Pandurang Phundkar moved an adjournment motion, alleging that the issue was suppressed by the Government.
BJP leader Nitin Gadkari said CBI has arrested the culprits within six months of taking over the case, something the state police could not do even in three years.
Nimbalkar, Padmasinh Patil's cousin, was shot dead in neighbouring Navi Mumbai on June 3, 2006.
"Had Pawanraje's widow not approached the High Court and the CBI not stepped in, the former Home Minister would not have been arrested," Kadam said.
"The Congress-NCP government tried to hush up the murder case," he said, adding "Home Minister Jayant Patil should resign owing responsibility for the state government's failure in the case."
BJP group leader Eknath Khadse said a sitting Lok Sabha member of the ruling party being arrested and charged under Section 302 of IPC was a "serious matter" and the House should have a full-fledged discussion on the issue.
Maharashtra government, on its part, rejected the opposition charge of deliberate cover-up of the murder of Congress leader Pawanraje Nimbalkar saying NCP MP Padmasinh Patil was arrested only because of two other accused who were nabbed by the Mumbai police.
Home Minister Jayant Patil told the legislative assembly that Mumbai police had arrested Parasmal Jain and Dinesh Tiwari in another case.
"When the police learnt that the duo was involved in the murder of Pawanraje Nimbalkar, they were transferred to CBI custody," Patil said while replying to a debate on law and order in the House.
CBI started their investigations in the case by interrogating them and on that basis Patil has been arrested, he said adding "hence, the question of a coverup does not arise".
"If the state government had any other motive, the duo would not have been handed over to CBI. Law will now take its own course. CBI has not reached its final conclusion," he said.
Patil said even after the case was transferred to CBI, the investigating agency was not getting any clue. "The investigations picked up only after Jain and Tiwari were handed over to them," the minister said.
In the Ramabai Nagar firing case, Patil said the government will appeal against the bail given to Manohar Kadam in the Supreme Court.
Patil also rejected the opposition charge of a scam in the purchase of bullet proof jackets for policemen.
"The opposition should prove that policemen who died in the 26/11 terror attacks lost their lives because bullets entered their bodies through the steel plates of their bullet proof vests," he said.
Patil said the purchases made in 1992-93 and 2002 were made from Central Government agencies and they were the best products of that time.
Referring to the loss of purchase receipts as alleged by Leader of Opposition Ramdas Kadam, Patil said files of more than six years are disposed off. He said the purchases were made by floating proper tenders.
The Home Minister said firing ranges all over the state will be modernised and upgraded to hold firing practice sessions for armed policemen every year. The finance ministry has provided adequate funds to purchase ammunition required for the mandatory pratice sessions.
Patil said Force One, the elite commando force being set up on the lines of NSG will complete its training in two months. The 200 commandos are being trained in combat operations and will be in a position to reach the site of any eventuality within minutes anywhere in the state.
He said, 85 officers have been inducted into the intelligence department directly. They are being trained at Pune and the Intelligence Training academy will be inaugurated by Union Home Minister P Chidambaram soon.
The government was seriously exploring possibilities to improve facilities of police housing in urban areas. Steps are being taken to procure modern weapons for the police, Patil added.
NCP MP's Arrest: Maharashtra Goverment Under Fire
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