Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Monday expressed regret over the police lathicharge against protesters demanding Maratha reservation in Jalna's Antarwali Sarathi. Speaking to reporters after his meeting with the Chief Minister, Fadnavis said, "Lathicharge by police was not right... I am apologising on behalf of the government. The CM has said the action will be taken against those who are responsible for it."
Furthermore, he clarified that no senior official issued a lathi-charge directive to the Jalna Police last week. Fadnavis, who also looks after the home portfolio, said, "Such decisions (use of police force, etc.) are taken at the local level."
“The Maharashtra government expresses regret for the use of force by police in Jalna district a few days back,” Fadnavis said.
On his meeting with CM Shinde, he added, “Today, we held a high-level meeting on the Maratha reservation. I have already spoken to protesters and we will resolve this issue systematically. Our government is serious about resolving the issues related to Maratha reservation.”
Opposition aggressive over the issue
Earlier today, Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut, asserted that the instruction for the lathi-charge originated from a telephone conversation emanating from the offices of the Chief Minister and the State Home Minister.
Additionally, senior NCP leader Anil Deshmukh alleged that the police carried out a lathi-charge on protesters in Jalna district following a phone call originating from the Maharashtra home ministry.
The former State Home Minister also insisted on an investigation conducted by a retired judge to ascertain the identity of the individual who contacted the Jalna district superintendent of police and instructed them to carry out the lathi-charge on the protesters.
Jalna lathicharge sparked controversy
On Friday in Antarwali Sarathi village, Jalna district, law enforcement employed baton charges and deployed tear gas canisters to disperse a tumultuous crowd. This action was taken after demonstrators reportedly obstructed authorities from transferring a hunger-striking individual advocating for Maratha quota to a hospital.
During the unrest, numerous individuals sustained injuries, including 40 police officers, and over 15 state transport buses were set on fire.