Parties to compensate if agitators damage public property | india | Hindustan Times
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Parties to compensate if agitators damage public property

india Updated: Dec 30, 2008 21:27 IST
Pradip Kumar Maitra

Damage to public property due to violent protest or demonstration by political parties or any such organisations will have to be compensated from the organisers concerned.

The state government introduced a new legislation, amending the Mumbai Police (Amendment) Act making it mandatory for political party and social organisations to fully compensate if public protest or demonstration of any kind turn violent and result in damage to public property.

Introducing the bill in the legislative Council, the minister of state for Home, Nitin Raut informed that the new Bill empower the district collector to determine the accountability or responsibility of the organisation responsible for damage and extend of damages itself.

The Opposition members, particularly Divakar Raote of Shiv Sena and Vinod Tawde of BJP, immediately protested, saying the proposed amendments would be misused. The authorities can wrongly implicate political rivals for political purposes, they pointed out.

"By amending the act, the state government is trying to deprive the democratic right of the people to take out morcha and agitation,' Raote alleged.

However, the minister explained that there was no scope for political misuse of the new measure, as the collectorate would make the assessment of the situation only on the basis of visual evidences, including video recording and photographs. Only those who are involved in the violent incidents will be booked, Raut said.

It could not satisfy the Opposition members and that led to a noisy walkout by them against the Bill. The Bill was later adopted in the House.