Vandalism: Govt clean chit to Raj,Thackeray,Rane

The Maharashtra government on Thursday told the Bombay High Court that there was no evidence to link Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray,MNS president Raj Thackeray and Congress leader Narayan Rane to four separate incidents of political vandalism last year....

Written by Express News Service | Mumbai | Published: February 19, 2010 1:16:48 am

The Maharashtra government on Thursday told the Bombay High Court that there was no evidence to link Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray,MNS president Raj Thackeray and Congress leader Narayan Rane to four separate incidents of political vandalism last year. The court had asked the state if the leaders had been prosecuted for allegedly instigating violence.

Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Chandra Iyengar said in an affidavit that investigations make it clear the incidents were not part of any criminal conspiracy hatched by the three leaders.

The attacks had happened at Intercontinental Hotel where the mob was allegedly led by Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut,at Bombay University and a beauty parlour attack,allegedly by MNS workers,and at Navakal office,allegedly by Rane’s supporters.

“Have you prosecuted Balasaheb and Uddhav in the Intercontinental matter?” Justice J N Patel had asked.

Iyengar filed the affidavit on Thursday,saying,”During the investigation of these cases,it was not revealed that top leaders of the parties instigated their followers or aided and abetted… since no involvement of top leaders or conspiracy was revealed,no action of arrest or prosecution could be taken. As per the investigation,none of the incidents could justify arrest of the top leaders of the three political parties whose supporters have indulged in destruction.”

The attackers,including Raut,have been chargesheeted and damages recovered in most cases,the state said.

A Bench of Chief Justice Anil Dave and Justice S C Dharmadhikari asked the state to move a proposal for setting up of a claims commissioner to deal with recovery of damages. “The court has granted six weeks to move the proposal,” said assistant government pleader Niranjan Pandit.

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