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Sunday, Dec 15, 2019

High-powered panel to review withdrawal of cases against Aarey, Nanar protesters

mumbai Updated: Dec 04, 2019 00:31 IST
Surendra Gangan and Faisal Malik
Surendra Gangan and Faisal Malik
Hindustantimes
         

The state government has constituted a four-member high-powered committee headed by additional chief secretary of the home department to review withdrawal of cases filed against protesters opposing the Aarey car shed and Nanar refinery project. After the committee sends its report, the senior ministers will take a call on withdrawal of cases.

The committee includes director general of police, commissioner of police of Mumbai and principal secretary of the home department.

“There is no time limit, but we will submit our report at the earliest,” said Amitabh Gupta, principal secretary, home department.

The police had booked 38 protesters under various sections of Indian Penal Code and had arrested 29 of them, including six women, when they staged a protest against hacking of the trees in Aarey Colony in October. Chief minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday announced the cases against them will be withdrawn. Thackeray has also announced withdrawal of cases against 23 protesters resisting the Nanar refinery project in Ratnagiri in Konkan.

Meanwhile, the Nationalist Congress Party demanded withdrawal of cases filed against activists and others in connection with the Bhima-Koregaon violence. On Tuesday, two NCP leaders MLA Dhananjay Munde and MLC Prkash Gajbhiye wrote separate letters to Thackeray.

“Many intellectuals, social activists and innocent people were booked as “naxals” and cases have been filed against them. I request you to withdraw these cases with immediate effect,” Munde said in his letter.

“People of the state are looking at the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government to provide justice to the Dalit community by withdrawing vindictive cases,” Gajbhiye said in his letter.

Munde also demanded withdrawal of cases filed against youths from the Maratha community during protests for reservation.

“The previous government had ordered withdrawal of cases against those who were not booked for serious offences. We will check if it has been done,” said Thackeray.