The Legislative Assembly had to be adjourned on Thursday following an uproar by the Opposition over the alleged beating up of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena legislator Harshawardhan Jadhav.
The house was disrupted thrice before being adjourned for the day. The police allegedly beat up Jadhav during the chief minister’s visit to his constituency in Aurangabad in January.
Shiv Sena legislator Vinod Ghosalkar first raised the issue in the question hour, seeking to know what action had been taken against the police officers involved in the incident.
Opposition legislators came together on this issue slamming home minister RR Patil. Bharatiya Janata Party and Shiv Sena MLAs supported Jadhav. Even Congress legislators were sympathetic though they did not support the cause in the house.
Jadhav, who was present in the house, alleged that Patil had ordered the attack on him. He said the beating was in retaliation to a morcha of women he had led to Patil’s official residence in Mumbai. They were protesting against sale of illicit liquor.
While narrating the incident in the house, Jadhav demanded that the policemen be sacked and charged with attempt to murder.
“I had gone to meet Prithviraj Chavan over the issue of illegal liquor shops in my constituency. But, the police dragged me to the police station, and I was hit in the stomach and the butt with a baton. I was made to touch their feet,” said Jadhav.
He also flayed Patil saying that though the home minister was his father’s friend, he (Jadhav) was not sure whether he could even give him that respect.
In response, Patil said Jadhav had several criminal cases against him, including beating police officer, and it was recommended that he be externed. “Jadhav had broken through a VVIP security convoy, forcing the police to act. He also hit a lady constable in her stomach,” Patil said
Patil said the police officers had been transferred and a local court was conducting an inquiry. Although Patil acknowledged that Jadhav’s father, Raibhan, was his fast friend, he said the same relations were impossible with his son.
Leader of Opposition Eknath Khadse lashed out at Patil asking him how he would feel if he was hit with `lathis’.
After the house was adjourned, a delegation of legislators met the CM asking him to ensure that a FIR was lodged against the policemen. Chavan promised to look into the issue but said the case was sub judice.