AMID THE row over pro-Pakistan slogans being allegedly raised in Pune, Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Sunday said a case of sedition will be registered against those who raised the slogans, adding such acts would not be tolerated in the state.
Meanwhile, Pune Police, probing into the slogans chanted during a protest held by members of the Popular Front of India (PFI) on Saturday, said they would not be invoking sedition charges in the case. Earlier, the Pune police had said that it will slap sedition charges against those booked in the case.
“Such slogans would not be tolerated in Maharashtra, and the home department will take strict action against those who raised the anti-national slogans. A case of sedition will be registered in this regard,” CM Shinde said while speaking to media in Navi Mumbai during an event held to mark 89th birth anniversary of former MLA and labour union leader Annasaheb Patil.
Pune Police Commissioner Amitabh Gupta had earlier said that charges under Sections 124A (sedition), 153A (promoting enmity between groups), 153B (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national integration), 120B (criminal conspiracy), and 109 (abetment) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) have been invoked in the case.
Later, Gupta said that the police were not applying Section 124A. The decision was in light of a Supreme Court ruling asking the Union and state governments to refrain from registering cases under 124A.
On Saturday morning, purported videos from Pune district Collectorate were circulated on social media with claims that pro-Pakistan slogans were raised during the protest held against the nationwide crackdown on PFI members.
Pune police said video recordings of the rally available on social media will be sent for forensic analysis.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone 2) Sagar Patil said, “A case was registered at Bundgarden police station for unlawful assembly and wrongful restraint. Multiple video clips of the incident being circulated on social media are being examined. The videos available on social media are being aggregated and will be sent for forensic analysis.”
CM ON MUMBAI METRO
Taking a dig at former CM Uddhav Thackeray without taking his name, Shinde said that Metro and other projects “stalled” in the state in the last two-and-a-half years have been taken up on priority by his government. “We don’t take decisions sitting in Mantralaya, we take decisions on the spot,” he said.
On the issue of the multi-billion Vedanta-Foxconn semiconductor project going to Gujarat, Shinde said, “What if one industry has gone out of the state, we will get better ones.”
One has to see the list the industries which have come up in the state in the past two-and-a-half years, he added. “We want to create job givers and not job aspirants,” Shinde said, adding this was the intention of Shiv Sena founder late Bal Thackeray.
In the recent Ganesh festival, there was a business of Rs 9,000 crore, he said, adding this was possible as “we had lifted restrictions on the festivals (imposed earlier in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic)”.
The Chief Minister also said that the Central government is standing firmly behind the state government for the development of the state.
ON MATHADI COMMUNITY
At the event in Navi Mumbai, Shinde announced the appointment of Narendra Patil as chairman of the Annasaheb Patil Arthik Vikas Mahamandal, working for the development of the Mathadi community (head loaders). He also said that funds of Annasaheb Patil Economic Development Corporation will be increased.
“The state government is trying to solve the problem of housing of Mathadi workers, education of their children, and medical facilities,” Shinde said at the event which saw Mathadi Bhushan Award being given to workers.
Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis, who was also present at the event, said several positive decisions were taken on issues of Mathadi workers when his government was in power between 2014 and 2019.