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HindustanTimes Fri,22 Aug 2014

Patil rejects Raj's 'politically motivated' resignation call

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, August 21, 2012
First Published: 21:47 IST(21/8/2012) | Last Updated: 00:57 IST(22/8/2012)

Home minister RR Patil rejected MNS chief Raj Thackeray's call for his and police commissioner Arup Patnaik's resignation, terming it "politically motivated".

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"Police action taken on August 11 was apt and laudable. [Thackeray's] demand for resignation was a politically motivated move and a gimmick that should not be taken seriously," Patil said.

Patil said Thackeray's speech would be examined by the police. "Anyone attacking the police and administration will not be spared. Action will be taken," the home minister said.

"Action does not always mean we do something on the spot," he added, when asked why no action had been taken against the MNS leader for holding a protest march without permission. "Police were concentrating on maintaining the law and order today."

Police commissioner Arup Patnaik refused to make any direct comment on Thackeray's calls for his resignation, and termed the demand to be "on expected lines".

"He is a political leader and has his own views. I have nothing to say. I am doing my job as a public servant. My, or the police's, job is cut out and limited to maintaining law and order and ensuring communal harmony. I think we have fairly achieved it," Patnaik said.

Patil clarified that the state police department can grant permission for rallies at Azad Maidan, but not at Girgaum Chowpatty.

"The high court sanctions permission to conduct morchas or assemblies at Chowpatty. We gave [the MNS] permission for rally at Azad Maidan, as we do to others," Patil said.

Patil was also asked about the permissions granted for the August 11 rally, and the status of investigation into the subsequent violence.

"The organisers of August 11 rally had approached the police for a permission and it was given," Patil said. "No one will be spared just because he belongs to a particular religion. Police exercised restraint or the situation would have gone out of hand. As far as taking action is concerned, it will be done," the home minister said.


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