The state government blames the Shiv Sena for the violence in Ratnagiri. Hinting at a political conspiracy, home minister RR Patil on Tuesday ordered a magisterial probe into Monday’s firing at the Jaitapur that claimed one life.
“As in any police firing case, there will be a magisterial probe but there will also be an inquiry into a political conspiracy behind this agitation. The inquiry will see whether the violent protests at the plant site and later at the local police station were pre-planned for political gains,” Patil said in the state assembly.
Patil also hinted that Shiv Sena had a role to play in the agitation. He said the government had intelligence reports that Jaitapur was on the brink of violence after Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray held his rally at Madban and Union environment minister Jairam Ramesh’s clarification that there would be no rethink on the project last week.
Industries minister Narayan Rane, who hails from the Konkan, alleged that the conspiracy to foment trouble in Ratnagiri was planned in a meeting at the Sena Bhavan on April 12, followed by a local meeting on April 17.
Patil said the Sena’s agitation against Jaitapur was against development and hypocritical. “On one hand you keep on agitating about power deficiency in the state, and on the other you don’t want any power projects. This kind of agitation will give limited dividends. It is anti-development and will be rejected by people,” he said.
Sena leader Suresh Jain claimed that the party was not against development, but it should not be at the cost of local people. “People have been protesting against the project for the past six years. Even today, authorities have given compensation cheques to only 190 out of the 2,300 affected families. If they are refusing compensation worth Rs10 lakh an acre, there is strong sentiment against the project and the government cannot ignore it,'' he Jain. Demanding a judicial probe, leader of Opposition, Eknath Khadse, reiterated that project should not take off without people's consent.