Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has written to the Maharashtra Director General of Police (DGP) demanding “immediate withdrawal of vehicles procured under Nirbhaya fund” after several media reports alleged that several vehicles procured by the Mumbai Police to be used for fighting crimes against women, were instead being used as escort vehicles for legislators of the ruling Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena faction.
“NCP demands the immediate withdrawal of the said vehicles deployed for MLAs’ security and to be sent back to the Nirbhaya Squad,” the letter said.
Earlier, Uddhav camp Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi alleged that several vehicles procured by the Mumbai Police under the Nirbhaya Fund, were used being used by MPs and MLAs of the ruling Eknath Shinde-led Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena faction, which is part of the ruling coalition in the Maharashtra government.
The letter from the NCP read, “It has been widely reported that the Maharashtra Home department has diverted almost 40 vehicles procured under the Nirbhaya Fund for escorting MLAs of Shinde Faction.”
“This decision of the Government is being criticised by the citizens of the state and is highly condemnable as the basic premise of the entire Nirbhaya scheme stands defeated,” it said.
“Home Ministry has granted Y+ security to all MLAs of the Shinde faction which itself seems like a move to accord VIP status to MLAs more than anything else. It is shameful how these MLAs have accepted these vehicles and nobody seems to be bothered or willing to voluntarily withdraw the said vehicles after it has come to light that these vehicles were procured for the protection of women,” the NCP said in the letter.
It added the Nirbhaya fund was created to enable the police machinery to effectively deal with issues relating to the safety of the women in the state.
Diverting vehicles meant for woman’s safety and pressing them into the service for protecting MLAs supporting the Government is clearly violative of the Nirbhaya Scheme and the Government is duty-bound to correct the wrong which has been committed purely under political pressure.
NCP demands the immediate withdrawal of the said vehicles deployed for MLAs’ security and to be sent back to the Nirbhaya Squad, the NCP said.
The Nirbhaya fund is a corpus set by the Centre in 2013 for state governments to implement schemes for the safety of women.