Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan got into damage control mode on Sunday as he made an unscheduled visit to Shivane, Sadvali and Yelshe villages in Pune district to meet the families of those injured in the clash between the police and protesters at Maval last week.
Chavan, who also visited the Talegaon General Hospital to meet the injured, heard out the villagers and promised a fair probe in the incident.
“Why do they kill young men, who run their families? What did we do? We did not steal anybody's land,” Subhadrabai, 70, mother of Shamrao Tupe, one of the victims, asked Chavan.
Three persons, including a woman, were killed at Maval as police opened fire to disperse violent protesters near the Mumbai-Pune Expressway last Tuesday. The villagers were protesting the diversion of water from Pawna dam to neighbouring Pimpri-Chinchwad. The incident had evoked sharp reactions, forcing the government to announce a judicial probe and suspend eight police personnel.
Meanwhile, deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar said the police should not have opened fire on the protesters. Pawar blamed the police department for mishandling the protests and said the situation should not have turned so grave since he had informed them of the protests well in advance. Pawar’s statements are being seen as the Nationalist Congress Party’s discontent with home minister RR Patil.