Shiv Sena UBT leader and former cabinet minister Aaditya Thackeray on Wednesday came down heavily on the ruling Mahayuti government (Eknath Shinde-Devendra Fadnavis-Ajit Pawar alliance) in Maharashtra over last week’s Jalna incident where police resorted to lathicharge on Maratha community members protesting to demand reservation.
Thackeray, who was leading the Shiv Sena UBT delegation, met Maharashtra Governor Ramesh Bais and submitted a written application seeking intervention on the issue of reservation and strict action against officials involved in the lathicharge.
Addressing the press after the meeting, Thackeray said, “I have closely seen how the CM’s office works. Without an order from the CM or home minister, the police don’t take such a harsh action. Still, we are of the opinion that this action was because the state government was planning a programme in the same district and didn’t want this agitation to continue. Maharashtra should know who the General Dyer, who gave these orders, is.”
General Dyer blocked the only entrance to Jallianwala Bagh and ordered his troops to open fire on the unarmed civilians, leading to the massacre.
In the meeting with the Governor, the Shiv Sena UBT delegation demanded that Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy Chief Devendra Fadnavis resign from the post and take the responsibility for the Jalna incident.
Thackeray also said, “Although we have met the Governor and have requested him to take action against this government and officials involved in the incident, we know what will happen. A committee will get constituted, some officials will be suspended, but no real action will be taken. We are still hopeful that the Governor will do something in this regard.”
Shiv Sena UBT leader and leader of opposition in Maharashtra Council Ambadas Danve told reporters: “Home minister Devendra Fadnavis apologised for the Jalna incident, but gave the example of the ‘Govari’ stampede during the Congress regime in 1994, in which 114 people from the community were killed and 500 more injured. Let me remind him that the then minister of tribal department, Madhukar Pichad, had resigned from the post over the incident. In this violence, approximately 350 villagers were beaten up by the police. There are reports that police also entered the houses of people and beat them up. The first action should be against police officers.”
Danve further added: “This government had announced an allotment of Rs 2,200 crore for the ‘SARTHI’ scheme for the Maratha community. According to our information, only Rs 34 crore have been allotted till date, which clearly shows their intention.”