Even as it sought to justify the firing on anti-Jaitapur protesters, the state government on Monday resolved to ensure that the ambitious nuclear power project in Mumbai gets ahead as planned.
Home minister RR Patil told legislative assembly on Monday that the police had to open fire because the protestors set ablaze the police station and pelted several policemen with stones, injuring them.
“The protestors knew that Nate police station did not have adequate staff. Most of the force from this station was deputed to man the Jaitapur project site, which was under incessant attack from the local people,” Patil said.
The state cabinet that met on Monday evening discussed at length the violence at Jaitapur and measures to control the people's wrath. Patil briefed his colleagues about the attack on Nate police station, which was manned by only five policemen. He assured that adequate police force was deployed to prevent further violence.
A senior minister who attended the meeting told Hindustan Times that the cabinet termed the violence a “political gimmick by the Shiv Sena”.
“The timing of the attack on the police station was crucial in view of the ongoing budget session. We have all information on the Sena leaders who are instigating the protesters,” said the minister, requesting anonymity.
There is a demand to review the controversial nuclear power project in the wake of accident at Fukushima nuclear project in Japan. But, chief minister Prithviraj Chavan has taken stand that the central government should decide on the issue.
“The central government would not take decision to continue with the project, if it is not sure about the safety of the people in the area,” Chavan had reportedly said last week.