State Home Minister R.R. Patil on Saturday ordered a probe into the “heavy lathicharge” carried out by the police to quell the mob at Vasai when fasting Vasai MLA, Vivek Pandit was being taken to a hospital.
Pandit had been on an indefinite hunger strike outside the Tehsildar’s office protesting against the inclusion of 53 villages in the newly-formed Vasai-Virar municipal corporation.
“I have seen the television footage and newspaper clippings of the police caning. I will examine if such a heavy lathicharge was necessary and what were the conditions on the ground. I have ordered an inquiry into the episode and Inspector General (Konkan Ramge) Parambir Singh will look into it and submit a report within a week,” Patil told the media.
Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader and Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly, Eknath Khadse, too has demanded a judicial inquiry into the incident.
Pandit broke the fast after the chief minister’s call stating that a meeting of all the parties concerned will be held soon and he will resolve the issue in a week.
However, the situation turned tense on Friday morning as Pandit was forcefully admitted to Thane Civil Hospital, which led to violent protests in Vasai.
The police used force on the protesters to control the situation. Prohibitory orders were also clamped in certain areas of the constituency. 30 protestors and 12 policemen were injured in the process.
Stones were pelted at MSRTC buses and a bus tyre was set on fire. Around 20
people were arrested for rioting. One company of state reserve police force and 200 city policemen were deployed in the area.