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Dahi Handi mess: Plea seeks jail term for top cop, Shelar, others

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Mumbai: Days after the city celebrated Dahi Handi festival, an activist has dragged the Maharashtra government and its officials to the Bombay High Court, seeking contempt proceedings against them. This comes after one govinda died during the festival and nearly 295 sustained injuries on September 3.

The activist has sought maximum civil imprisonment for city’s top cop Datta Padsalgikar, Ashish Shelar, the head of BJP Mumbai unit. The petition also seeks a similar punishment for Maharashtra government’s chief secretary Dinesh Jain and Shivkumar Dighe, who is presently serving as the Charity Commissioner. “In the interest of the justice, this court be pleased to impose maximum imprisonment and fine on the officials for the wilful failure to comply with the orders of the HC,” the plea reads.

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Chembur-based activist Swati Patil has moved the HC seeking initiation of contempt proceedings against all these officials. In her plea, Patil has highlighted the fact at least 295 govindas sustained injuries during the game. The petition also states that at least 195 of these have sustained minor injuries. Patil has claimed that the authorities have failed to comply with the orders of the HC passed in August last year, directing the government to ensure no minors (below the age of 14) participate in the game.


In its series of directives, HC had also asked the government to ensure the height of the Handis are regulated. The HC had then left it exclusively on the government to decide on these issues. Since then, Patil had been in touch with the government seeking to know if it has taken any step to comply with the HC orders. She has claimed that none of the officials have even bothered to her letters seeking to know the status of the compliance by the government.