The Bombay high court on Monday put the state government on the mat for being a mute spectator as Republican Party of India (RPI) activists took over India United Mill, popularly known as Indu mill, at Dadar, demanding that a memorial of Dalit visionary Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar be built there.
“This government is spineless and it is because of its policies on regulating slums and slum dwellers that this situation of a mob taking over government land has arisen,” said a division bench of justices DK Deshmukh and Anoop Mohta while hearing a petition filed by National Textile Corporation (NTC) seeking eviction of RPI activists who are camping on the mill premises since December 6.
“This is complete lawlessness,” the judges said when additional solicitor general Darius Khambata, representing NTC contended that the police did not act while the political activists were taking over NTC property.
“The [state] government has encouraged crime with its policies and now it is even considering regularising slums up to 2000,” the judges commented, and added, “Such mobs will tomorrow take over the Mantralaya and say we now rule the state. One of them will say I am the chief minister. Can this be allowed?” the judges sought to know from additional government pleader GW Mattos.
NTC has stated in its petition that despite repeated communications to the Shivaji Park police station, the chief minister and other authorities, no action has been taken against the illegal possession.
Rail roko has no effect on services
The rail-roko agitation by various groups of the Republican Party of India (RPI) on Monday turned out to be a token one and had little affect on long distance and suburban train services. The railway authorities claimed some minor traffic disruptions at Ambernath, Koparkhairane, Dombivli, Malad, Mira-Bhayander and Bandra.
“The trains at the these stations were delayed by approximately five minutes,” said AK Singh, public relations officer of Central Railway. The Government Railway Police arrested 53 Republican Party of India (RPI) activists. They were later released on bail.