THE 26/11 terror attack continues to rock the monsoon session of the State Legislature. There were uproarious scenes on Wednesday over alleged deals of substandard equipment which may have led to the deaths of several police personnel during the anti-terror security operations in November.
The Opposition demanded an inquiry into alleged corruption in purchase of substandard bulletproof jackets for the city police. It also demanded action against the police commissioner for buying a Backscatter van, a maneuverable screening system built into a commercially available delivery automobile.
In a dramatic moment, Opposition leader Ramdas Kadam produced a bulletproof jacket that he claimed was much stronger and cheaper than those bought by the police.
He also alleged that the file that had records of purchase was missing. “In a reply to a Right to Information query, the department said that it could not locate the said file,” he said.
The House was adjourned thrice as Opposition members shouted slogans and stormed the area before the Speaker’s seat.
Kadam later told Hindustan Times that the Backscatter van was bought although several other states had rejected it for its poor performance.
He demanded stringent action against Police Commissioner Hasan Gafoor and the then director general of police A.N. Roy.
The Backscatter van reportedly reveals contraband that transmission X-rays miss — such as explosives (including car bombs), plastic weapons, and people — providing photo-like imaging for rapid analysis.
It is also said to be capable of identifying low levels of radioactivity.
Chief Minister Ashok Chavan is expected to reply to Opposition charges on Thursday.