Deposing on Tuesday before the one-man committee probing the Maval firing incident,former superintendent of police (Pune rural) Sandeep Karnik veered,on at least two points,from the earlier version he has mentioned in his report submitted to additional chief secretary on August 9,a day after the incident,revealed a lawyer representing the farmers.
Karnik had ordered the firing on the farmers who were agitating against a pipeline project on August 8 last year.
Deposing before retired Bombay High Court Judge,Justice R G Gaikwad,Karnik said that no warning was given to the agitating farmers before the firing.
This is in contrast to his report in which he had stated that a warning was given to farmers. It had said that burning tyres were thrown by agitating villagers on the expressway and that villagers had begun their speeches on the road itself, said advocate Vinayak Abhyankar,who represents farmers and had examined Karnik. During his deposition,Karnik had omitted that tyres were thrown on the road and stated that villagers had begun their speeches,not on the road,but after getting down from the Mumbai-Pune expressway,he said.
When asked,he also said that no measures were taken to divert traffic from the Expressway in anticipation of something going wrong during the agitation. Speaking of the extra police force deployed that day,Karnik said that extra SRPF platoons had been deployed.
The agitators had gathered at eight spots in Maval and the police force was divided to cover these eight spots. However,when 1,500 farmers started pelting stones,it turned into a mob that was uncontrollable, said Karnik.
The recording of evidence of Karnik will continue on Wednesday.
Police had resorted to firing at Maval near Pune during a protest by farmers against a water pipeline project through their fields to supply water from the Pavana Dam to the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation.
Subsequently,action was taken on the police. Two police inspectors were placed under suspension and Karnik was transferred to Mumbai after the incident. He himself had sought a transfer on the ground that it would have been improper for him to continue at the post when a probe was on.