Under fire for lathi-charge on Maratha quota protesters in Jalna district, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Monday said the government regrets the use of force by police.
He also said the lathi-charge order was not given by any top official to the Jana Police last week. ”Such decisions (use of police force etc.) are taken at the local level,” Fadnavis, who handles the Home Department, told reporters.
“Maharashtra government expresses regret for the use of force by police in Jalna district a few days back,” he said.
Earlier in the day, Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut had claimed that the lathi-charge order was given on a phone call made from the office of the chief minister and state home minister.
Senior NCP leader Anil Deshmukh has also claimed that police lathi-charged protesters in Jalna district after a phone call was made from the Maharashtra home ministry.
The former state home minister also demanded an enquiry by a retired judge to find out who called up the Jalna district superintendent of police and ordered him to lathi-charge the protesters. Police baton charged and lobbed tear gas shells to disperse a violent mob in Antarwali Sarathi village in Jalna district on Friday after protesters allegedly refused to let authorities shift a man on hunger strike for Maratha quota to hospital.
Several persons. including 40 police personnel, were injured and more than 15 state transport buses were set ablaze in violence.