Leader of Opposition (LoP) in Maharashtra Legislative Assembly Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday targetted Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray over activist Sharjeel Usmani's "offensive remarks" at the second Elgar Parishad in Pune on January 30.
Fadnavis said Thackeray promised to find Usmani "from any corner of the world and nab him", but the Maha Vikas Aghadi's (MVA) actions are "totally opposite to their words", he said. "In reality, Sharjeel came again in Pune, countered, slapped a reply to CM, went back ! Just to protect him & help getting bail easily, section 295A of IPC(used for outraging religious sentiments) too got systematically removed from basic complaint, while registering the FIR by State," he added.
"So, only section 153A(for promoting enmity between different groups) is invoked in the FIR. When Sharjeel attempted to wage a war against our Nation during Elgar Parishad,we assumed that all respective sections of IPC including 124a (sedition), 295a will be invoked by the State," Fadnavis further wrote.
The former Chief Minister also alleged that the MVA is helping Usmani to get bail. "Uddhav ji, how many more offenders will you protect for the desperation of power?" he added.
Meanwhile, the Maharashtra government on Monday told the Bombay High Court that it will not take any coercive step against activist Sharjeel Usmani if he appeared before the Pune police for interrogation whenever asked to and cooperated with the probe.
The state's counsel, YP Yagnik, told the court that Usmani had been issued a notice under section 41 (A) of the CrPC and added that the police would follow procedure mandated by the section as long as he cooperated.
The statement came after Usmani's counsel, senior advocate Mihir Desai, urged the HC to grant Usmani protection from arrest.
Besides, Usmani assured the Bombay High Court that he will continue cooperating with the Pune Police, and will appear before investigators on March 18, 2021.
For the uninitiated, Usmani has been booked for allegedly insulting Hindu sentiments during his speech at the Elgar Parishad conclave.