Senior NCP leader Anil Deshmukh on Monday claimed police lathi-charged protesters seeking quota for Marathas 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 people, including 40 police personnel, were injured and more than 15 state transport buses were set ablaze in violence.
Deshmukh, a loyalist of NCP founder Sharad Pawar, said the ”inhuman” police action on protesters last week was ”very unfortunate”.
”I had served as home minister of Maharashtra. As per my information, Maratha protestors (in Jalna district) were lathi-charged after a phone call was made from the home ministry. Police officials cannot take such action without the orders of senior officers,” Deshmukh claimed while speaking to reporters in Nagpur.
He said an enquiry by a retired judge into who had made the phone call would fix the responsibility.
The home ministry is handled by Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis of the Bharatiya Janata Party.
As the police action created a huge row, the senior police officer in Jalna was made a scapegoat and sent on forced leave, Deshmukh said.
A day before, Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde announced that Jalna district superintendent of police, Tushar Doshi, was sent on compulsory leave and ADGP (law and order) Sanjay Saxena would probe the lathi-charge incident.
He had also said a judicial probe would be conducted if required.
Addressing a state function in Buldhana, Shinde said two DYSP-rank officers were transferred out of Jalna district.