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State Congress slams home minister Patil over Palghar arrests

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, November 22, 2012
First Published: 01:48 IST(22/11/2012) | Last Updated: 01:50 IST(22/11/2012)

On a day he should have been the star of the cabinet meeting, home minister RR Patil faced flak from his Congress colleagues over the arrest of two girls in Palghar for a Facebook post.


The overarching police action cast a shadow on Operation X, carried out to execute 26/11 terrorist Ajmal Kasab, as Congress ministers Naseem Khan, Nitin Raut and Varsha Gaikwad in the cabinet meeting held on Wednesday cornered Patil by demanding that action be taken against the police officials.

"Why did the police succumb to Sena pressure? There is no need to wait for the report [the Konkan inspector general is probing the incident] as, prima facie, it is clear that police are guilty of high-handedness," said Khan.

Raut also questioned why a section like 295, which is generally applied for hurting religious sentiments, was slapped in this case, and why the girls were arrested late in the night, in violation of law.

It is learnt that Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan also noted that the incident had brought infamy to the police and had grabbed the nation's attention.

Patil has been trying to tacitly defend the police. "Our enforcement agencies have been trained about the IT Act but the law itself needs more clarity and is difficult to interpret. However, we will take stringent action against the guilty once the report is submitted," said Patil.

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