Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday slammed the Maharashtra police for holding a press conference last week over the arrest of five left-wing activists in multi-city raids for alleged Maoist links and favoured timely filing of charges rather than labelling the accused as ‘Urban Naxals’.
He said the government should submit evidence in the court instead of revealing everything before the media.
Instead of labelling the accused as ‘Urban Naxals’ or ‘Hindu terrorists’, charges should be filed in time, Mr Thackeray said while referring to the cases involving the five activists as also to the probe into recent seizure of explosives across state for which some people allegedly associated with right-wing groups have been arrested.
“A new system has started, wherein the police reveals everything before the court takes a decision. Even the court has expressed its displeasure over this… If what you’re doing is right, submit evidence before the court soon,” the Sena chief told reporters in Mumbai after a meeting with his party leaders.
On Friday last week, State Additional Director General (Law and Order) Parambir Singh along with the Pune police had addressed the media in connection with the arrest of five activists.
During the press conference, Mr Singh had read out letters purportedly exchanged between the activists and had claimed the police had “conclusive proof” to link the left-wing activists arrested in June and last week to Maoists.
Pune police had on August 28 raided homes of prominent left-wing activists in several states and arrested five of them- Varavara Rao in Hyderabad, Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira in Mumbai, Sudha Bharadwaj in Faridabad and Gautam Navalakha in Delhi.
The raids were carried out as part of a probe into the Elgaar Parishad event on December 31 last year, which was followed by violence at Koregaon-Bhima in Pune district the next day.
Separately, the Maharashtra ATS last month arrested five persons after explosives were seized from different places in the state, which according to the police were to be used to trigger blasts at various places.
Mr Thackeray said since terrorism has no religion, why should those arrested be labelled either as ‘Hindu terrorists or Urban Naxals’.
“Whether you call them Urban Naxals or blame the Sanathan Sanstha, chargesheet should be filed against them in time,” he said.
“Why have all of them become active during this government’s tenure? If a pro-Hindutva government is in power in the country, why are Hindu terrorists, if at all they are, springing up now,” he said.
Mr Thackeray also slammed the central government over what he called the “failed” note ban decision and said, “Who will take the responsibility of the loss to the country’s economy and of the people who died while standing in queues? Will you accept this was a mistake?”
Mr Thackeray also said he had called Gujarat’s Patidar leader Hardik Patel and expressed his solidarity with him over his ongoing hunger strike.
“I have extended my support to him and told him we need fighters like you. I also requested him to withdraw his hunger strike,” Mr Thackeray said.
Mr Patel has been on an indefinite fast in Ahmedabad since August 25 with demands including farm loan waiver and reservation for the Patidar community under OBC category in government jobs and education sector.