The Maharashtra government on Friday suspended two police officers in connection with the death of three protesters in police firing on the Pune-Mumbai Expressway on Tuesday.
The protest was against a water pipeline project, which they feared would divert their water and force them to give up land.
Inspector Ashok Patil and sub-inspector Ganesh Mane were identified from video clips of the protest. On Thursday evening the home department suspended six police constables who were identified from similar clips in which they were seen damaging vehicles.
“We have immediately taken action against those who have been identified. More action will follow,” state home minister RR Patil announced in the legislative council.
Eight farmers have also been arrested for allegedly attacking policemen and damaging property during the protest, said the police.
Leader of the opposition in the legislative assembly, Eknath Khadse (BJP), said, “This announcement has come only because of the pressure that we are putting on the government. The action should extend to top officials who gave orders, including ministers.”
The opposition parties on Friday met governor K Shankarnarayanan demanding dismissal of the Congress-NCP government for “atrocities on farmers”.
“The whole needle of suspicion points to (deputy chief minister) Ajit Pawar who was operating behind the scene and the home minister is misdirecting the whole issue by unnecessarily issuing contradictory statements,” said Khadse.
Later, chief minister Prithviraj Chavan briefed the governor on the issue.
Meanwhile, Chavan dismissed charges of police excesses in Maval. Speaking to media, he held the opposition responsible for instigating the violence. “It was a pre-planned protest,” he said.
The opposition did not allow the assembly to work on the last day of the Monsoon session. Khadse demanded suspension of Pune (rural) police chief Sandip Karnik. He alleged the superintendent of police opened fire after taking orders from deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar, who is guardian minister of Pune district.