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Mumbai police commissioner Arup Patnaik hints at action against MNS

PTI  Mumbai, August 21, 2012
First Published: 21:30 IST(21/8/2012) | Last Updated: 22:39 IST(21/8/2012)

Mumbai police commissioner Arup Patnaik on Tuesday said MNS chief Raj Thackeray's demand seeking his resignation on the issue of the Azad Maidan violence was "on expected lines" and stated that law would take its own course on the party's protest march without permission.

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"It was on expected lines," he replied to a question on Thackeray demanding his resignation in the wake of the August 11 violence at Azad Maidan, in which two men were killed and 42 policemen injured while female cops were molested.

"I have never taken anything personally. I am the police commissioner and I did my duty of maintaining law and order and communal harmony today. It was a very difficult day and it went off fairly well," Patnaik said.

Indicating action against Raj's Maharashtra Navnirman Sena for carrying out march from Girgaum till Azad Maidan without police permission, Patnaik said, "Law would take its own course."

Special branch of the city police was checking if any unparliamentary language was used during the speech, he said.

"Raj Thackeray is a politician. They have their own agenda and objectives. There is a division of labour in any work. Here, my job is to maintain law and order and I confined myself to it," he reiterated.

The Mumbai police chief stated that men in the uniform had been targeted many a times in the past and policemen should not lose their cool for such things.

"It is not the first time that policemen were criticised," he said.

The police commissioner also raised doubts if "constable" Pramod Tawade's offering flowers to Thackeray was staged.

"We are gathering details about constable Tawade. In fact, I don't even know if he is from our department or a fake policeman. Let me find out. Whether he came on stage on his own or it was managed, we are looking into all these things. We are also seeking his medical details," Patnaik said.

While speaking to media earlier on Tuesday, Tawade claimed that senior policemen had tried to label him as a "madman".

Patnaik, however, refused to comment on Thackeray's criticism that the police commissioner had abused a deputy police commissioner for nabbing rioters on the fateful day.

Tawade is being inquired on various counts, including his grievances, a police officer said, adding that if required, disciplinary action would be taken against him.

On Thackeray showing a passport claiming that it belonged to a Bangladeshi national, who participated in the Azad Maidan violence, Patnaik said, "If they (the MNS men) have such a proof, then they should give it (the passport) to the police.

"Under the Criminal Procedure Code, it is the duty of any person to give the evidence to police in case he or she has any proof about any crime."

Reacting to the attack on the 42 police personnel, including female cops, some of whom were molested, Patnaik said, he was saddened by the attack on his team.

"There is an anguish in my heart. The personnel in the department are like my sons and daughters," the city police chief said.


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