The government’s decision to not take action against leaders of political parties that indulge in attacks will encourage them to make more provocative speeches, said former Indian Police Service officer Julio Ribeiro.
In an affidavit filed in the high court, the government said there was no evidence in the four cases cited in a letter written by Ribeiro to the court. The court, on receiving the letter, had converted it into a public interest litigation.
“The leaders will continue to instigate their party workers and then claim that the attacks were spontaneous,” said Ribeiro.
The court too was unimpressed by the affidavit. “You keep saying that action is being taken against the culprits, but every time the matter comes up for further hearing we find some more incidents of vandalism have taken place,” said Justice S.C. Dharmadhikari.
Ribeiro said the leaders need not be arrested. “Chargesheet them. Let them come to court and reply,” said Ribeiro.
One leader who Ribeiro thinks should be dealt with firmly is Raj Thackeray. “Action should be taken against him. He keeps inciting people, causing damage to public property,” said Ribeiro.
In his letter, Ribeiro said: “Though the police have registered offences against the culprits for unlawful assembly, rioting, causing mischief, hurt, etc, it is imperative that the police also take action against their leaders, for aiding and abetting such incidents.