Members of Azad Samaj Party in police custody for protesting outside Ajit Pawar’s residence
Ten members of Azad Samaj Party (ASP) were remanded to three days in custody of Pune police by a local court in case of allegedly attacking police officials during a protest held in front of a residence of Ajit Pawar, deputy chief minister of Maharashtra.
The protest was against the state government’s decision to withdraw the 33 per cent reservation in promotion to posts in government service to provide promotions of government officials of the Scheduled Caste (SC), Scheduled Tribe (ST), Vimukta jati, and nomadic tribe (VJNT) communities.
The Government Resolution (GR) cited a Bombay High Court decision from August 4, 2017, that invalidated reservation in promotion of government officials to make the decision. The GR further stated that the Supreme Court has not put the order on hold which means that the HC order is still applicable. As a result, the April 20 GR that announced reservation in promotion, needed to be amended.
The 10 in custody include Bhimrao Dattu Kamble (31), Abhijit Madhukar Gaikwad (32), Rafik Rustom Shaikh (37), Ankit Parshuram Gaikwad (21), Darshan Baburao Ubale (25), Datta Mohan Bhalshankar (38), Vinod Lakshman Waghmare (34), Mahesh Vaijyanath Thorat (21), Sahar Virbhadra Javai (23), and Sharad Gautam Lokhande (23), according to the police.
The protesters burnt a copy of the government resolution passed on May 7 in front of the house owned by DCM in Rane Circle area of Bhosalenagar in Pune.
“Members of Azad Samaj Party arrested by Chaturshringi police for protesting outside residence of Ajit Pawar, DCM, and Maharashtra state against government resolution passed on May 7 taking away reservation in promotion of Schedule Caste and Schedule Tribes. Defense lawyers argued for the accused that the Section 353 of Indian Penal Code (IPC) is being misused here as protesting is one’s fundamental right and so it is fundamental duty of state i.e., police to see that the fundamental right is not violated,” said a statement of the defence lawyers including advocates Tosif C Shaikh, Deepak Gaikwad, Kranti Sahane, Jaydeep Doke, and Ravi Wadmare.
A case under Sections 353, 188, 269, 270, 143, 145, 147, 149 of Indian Penal Code along with Section 51(b) of National Disaster Management Act, 2005; Section 2 and 3 of Epidemic Diseases Act and Section 7 of Criminal Law Amendment Act was registered at Chaturshringi police station.